Melatonin promotes Cashmere goat (<i>Capra hircus</i>) secondary hair follicle growth: a view from integrated analysis of long non-coding and coding RNAs

<p>The role of melatonin in promoting the yield of Cashmere goat wool has been demonstrated for decades though there remains a lack of knowledge regarding melatonin mediated hair follicle growth. Recent studies have demonstrated that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are widely transcribed in the genome and play ubiquitous roles in regulating biological processes. However, the role of lncRNAs in regulating melatonin mediated hair follicle growth remains unclear. In this study, we established an <i>in vitro</i> Cashmere goat secondary hair follicle culture system, and demonstrated that 500 ng/L melatonin exposure promoted hair follicle fiber growth. Based on long intergenic RNA sequencing, we demonstrated that melatonin promoted hair follicle elongation via regulating genes involved in focal adhesion and extracellular matrix receptor pathways and further cis predicting of lncRNAs targeted genes indicated that melatonin mediated lncRNAs mainly targeted vascular smooth muscle contraction and signaling pathways regulating the pluripotency of stem cells. We proposed that melatonin exposure not only perturbed key signals secreted from hair follicle stem cells to regulate hair follicle development, but also mediated lncRNAs mainly targeted to pathways involved in the microvascular system and extracellular matrix, which constitute the highly orchestrated microenvironment for hair follicle stem cell. Taken together, our findings here provide a profound view of lncRNAs in regulating Cashmere goat hair follicle circadian rhythms and broaden our knowledge on melatonin mediated hair follicle morphological changes.</p>