Hair morphogenesisin vitro: formation of hair structures suitable for implantation

    September 2008 in “Regenerative Medicine
    Jizeng Qiao, Anya Turetsky, Paul Kemp, Jeff Teumer
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    TLDR Scientists created early-stage hairs from mouse cells that grew into normal, pigmented hair when implanted into other mice.
    In a study from 15 years ago, researchers successfully created proto-hairs in vitro from mouse follicular cells and implanted them into athymic mice, resulting in the development of mature hair follicles. These proto-hairs were formed by incubating aggregates of isolated embryonic mouse skin cells, which then resembled early hair structures. Upon implantation, 50-60% of these proto-hairs developed into follicles with pigmented hair shafts within 4 weeks, and hair shafts emerged from the skin in about 40% of the follicles. The pigmentation served as evidence that the hair originated from the implanted cells, as the donor cells were from a black-pigmented strain of mice and the recipients were albino. The implanted proto-hairs not only looked normal, including the presence of sebaceous glands, but also showed sustained growth and the ability to regrow after plucking. This research indicated the potential for using proto-hairs derived from human cells for hair regeneration in humans and as a tool for studying hair biology and testing hair growth substances. The number of mice used in the study was not specified.
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