Research from the University of Southern California has delved into the origin of sweat. In his study on sweat glands, Asst. Prof. Krzysztof Kobielak, PhD, MD, and fellow researchers uncovered some interesting findings about sweat gland stem cells that may lead to better treatments for excessive sweating conditions and tissue regeneration.
In an article in PLOS ONE, the authors describe how they studied sweat gland cells, by labeling them with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and viewing the area under UV light. The researchers noticed that over time, some of the sweat gland cells did not divide or divided very slowly, a property known among stem cells of certain tissues. They, therefore, hypothesized that these cells were stems cells.
The researchers then discovered that these glowing cells generated not only sweat glands, but also hair follicles when placed in the skin of a mouse without GFP. The researchers also determined that under certain conditions, the sweat gland stem cells could heal skin wounds and regenerate all layers of the epidermis.
The researchers believe this research could be used for developing treatments for excessive or insufficient sweating. It may also be used to generate functional tissue for burn victims.