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    To investigate the optimal androgen concentration for culturing Hetian sheep wool follicle and to detect effects of androgen concentration on wool follicle cell proliferation and apoptosis using immunofluorescence labeling and real-time quantitative fluorescence determinations of wool keratin-associated protein gene expression levels. Wool follicles were isolated by microdissection and wool follicles and skin pieces were cultured in various concentrations of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in culture medium. Next, daily lengthwise growth measurements of wool follicles were obtained using a microscopic micrometer. Cultured Hetian wool follicles were stained using the SACPIC method to reveal wool follicle structure, while sheep skin slices were used to observe cell proliferation by immunostaining and cell apoptosis using the TUNEL method. At the molecular biological level, keratin-associated protein (Kap) gene expression was studied using wool follicles cultured for various numbers of days in vitro. Effects of androgen concentrations on Hetian wool follicle growth and development were experimentally studied. EdU proliferation assays revealed that androgen promoted cell proliferation within wool follicle dermal papillae. TUNEL apoptosis detection demonstrated that androgen treatment could delay cell apoptosis. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) results demonstrated that gene expression level patterns of Hetian mountain sheep super-high sulfur protein. Kap1.1, KIF1.2, Kap2.12 and Kap4.2 gene expression level of the mountainous experimental group was significantly higher than plains Hetian sheep. An androgen concentration of 100 nM can promote the growth of Hetian wool follicle cells in vitro, resulting in overexpression of some genes of the Kap family.


    H Y Wang, S W Li, T H Wu, Z H Wu, J X Guo. The effect of androgen on wool follicles and keratin production in Hetian sheep. Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia. 2021 Jul-Sep;81(3):526-536

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    PMID: 33470295

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