A Model System to Analyze the Ability of Human Keratinocytes to Form Hair Follicles

    May 2014 in “ Experimental Dermatology
    Rajesh L. Thangapazham, Peter Klover, Shaowei Li, Wang Jian, Leonard C. Sperling, Thomas N. Darling
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    TLDR Scientists developed a system to study human hair growth using skin cells, which could help understand hair development and improve skin substitutes for medical use.
    In 2014, researchers from the Department of Dermatology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences developed a model system to study human hair follicle formation. They created dermal-epidermal composites using human dermal papilla cells and either primary or passaged human keratinocytes, which were then grafted onto immunodeficient mice. The study found that early keratinocyte cultures, rich in progenitor cells, led to superior hair follicle formation, including the formation of hair shafts and sebaceous glands. The model system also allowed for the evaluation of hair follicle phases at 10 weeks or later. This system was considered a useful tool for studying human hair follicle development and could be used to evaluate genes and cells vital for this process or to optimize tissue engineered skin substitutes for clinical applications.
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