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Transforming growth factor-β receptor II is preferentially expressed in the companion layer of the human anagen hair follicle

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Summary Background 

Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is a multifunctional growth factor with multiple roles in skin including hair follicle development and cycling, where it regulates cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis, as well as in wound healing. While TGF-β receptor I (TGF-β RI) and receptor II (TGF-β RII) expression helps define early human hair follicle morphogenesis, expression in the adult human hair follicle remains to be established. Objectives 

To assess TGF-β receptor expression in human scalp anagen hair follicles. Methods 

Immunohistochemical and double immunofluorescence analysis of TGF-β RI and RII was conducted on frozen sections of haired human scalp obtained from 10 healthy individuals. Results 

TGF-β RI expression was detected in the outer root sheath of anagen hair follicles while TGF-β RII was expressed almost exclusively in the companion layer of inner root sheath and less so in premedulla keratinocytes. Both receptors were colocalized in the companion layer of the proximal and mid follicle. Conclusions 

The well-described role of TGF-β in keratinocyte apoptosis during catagen is likely to involve anagen-specific hair follicle components including the companion layer, as this layer provides the slippage plane supporting the inner root sheath and hair shaft as they ascend to the skin surface. Results of this study suggest that the colocalization of TGF-β RI/RII complexes at the companion layer would facilitate TGF-β signalling at this site to regulate apoptosis of the companion layer keratinocytes, facilitating shrinkage/contraction of this cell layer during hair follicle regression/catagen.
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Keywords: companion layer; hair follicle; transforming growth factor-β receptors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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