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Open Access Hair Follicle Stem Cells Derived From Single Rat Vibrissa Via Organ Culture Reconstitute Hair Follicles In Vivo

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Hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) are potentially useful for the treatment of skin injuries and diseases. To achieve clinical application, a prerequisite must be accomplished: harvesting enough HFSCs from limited skin biopsy. The commonly used sorting approach for isolating HFSCs, however, suffers from its intrinsic disadvantages, such as requirement of large-scale skin biopsy. Here, we report an efficient organ culture method to isolate and expand rat HFSCs from limited skin biopsy and these HFSCs could reconstitute the epidermis and the hair follicles (HFs). Seventy-three percent of cultured HFs formed hair follicle stem cell colonies from the bulge, and a single hair follicle provided all the HFSCs used in this research, demonstrating the high efficiency of this method. Quantitative RT-PCR and immunofluorescent staining results revealed that these stem cells obtained from the bulge highly expressed basal layer markers K14 and alpha-6 integrin, epithelial stem cell marker P63, and bulge stem cell marker K15. After long-term culture in vitro, GFP-labeled hair follicle stem cells formed new hair follicles, epidermis, and sebaceous glands following xenotransplantation into the back of nude mice. This study indicated that multipotent hair follicle stem cells could be efficiently harvested through organ culture from limited skin material—even a single hair follicle—and reconstitute hair follicles in vivo after long-term expansion culture, providing the basis for future clinical applications.

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Keywords: Bulge; Hair follicle reconstitution; Hair follicle stem cell (HFSC); Organ culture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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