In the area of stem cell biology, the Joyner laboratory studies the potential of mouse adult stem cells to repair tissues or contribute to cancer, and the role of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling in these processes. They have developed a method (Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping) that facilitates the identification and marking of stem cells. Using this approach, they found that quiescent stem cells in the adult forebrain express the Hh target gene Gli1. More recently, they have been characterizing Gli1-expressing mesenchymal cells in the prostate to determine whether they include stem cells that can regenerate the stroma following castration and administration of steroids. In the lung, they have studied the potential of Gli1-expressing mesenchymal cells to contribute to airway remodeling in asthma. In the skin, they have characterized the stem cell characteristics of Gli1-expressing cells in the quiescent telogen hair follicle. Finally, the response of Gli1-expressing cells in the forebrain, spinal cord and skin to various injuries are being studied, as well as the involvement of Hh signaling to repair.
Nieman BJ, Shyu JY, Rodriguez JJ, Garcia AD, Joyner AL, Turnbull DH. In vivo MRI of neural cell migration dynamics in the mouse brain. Neuroimage. 2010 Jan 4.
Blaess S, Stephen D, Joyner AL. Gli3 coordinates three-dimensional patterning and growth of the tectum and cerebellum by integrating Shh and Fgf8 signaling. Development. 2008 Jun;135(12):2093-103. Epub 2008 May 14.
Fuccillo, M., Joyner, A.L. and Fishell, G. (2006) From morphogen to mitogen: the multiple roles of Hedgehog signaling in vertebrate neural development. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 7:772-783.
Ahn, S. and Joyner, A.L. (2005) Quiescent adult neural stem cells are targets of Sonic hedgehog signaling. Nature, 437: 894-897.