Dermal Papilla Cell Number Specifies Hair Size, Shape, and Cycling, and Its Reduction Causes Follicular Decline

    April 2013 in “ Development
    Woo Chi, Eleanor Wu, Bruce Morgan
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    TLDR More dermal papilla cells in hair follicles lead to larger, healthier hair, while fewer cells cause hair thinning and loss.
    The study conducted by Woo Chi, Eleanor Wu, and Bruce A. Morgan found that the number of dermal papilla (DP) cells in hair follicles is crucial for determining the size, shape, and cycling of hair in mice. A reduction in DP cell number below a critical threshold resulted in follicles failing to produce new hairs or generating smaller hairs, which is indicative of follicular decline similar to that seen in human aging. The study used a mouse model to selectively ablate DP cells and observed that follicles with more DP cells could re-enter the growth phase and restore normal hair growth. The findings suggest that targeting DP cell populations could be a potential approach to reverse hair loss. The study involved a minimum of 20 hairs from two mice per type/time point for most measurements, with varying sample sizes for specific counts. The research underscores the importance of DP cells in hair follicle regeneration and has implications for developing hair loss treatments.
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