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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr N Hole

Jahoda, CAB, Whitehouse, CJ, Reynolds, AJ & Hole, N (2003). Hair follicle dermal cells differentiate into adipogenic and osteogenic lineages. Experimental Dermatology 12(6): 849-859.

Author(s) from Durham


The adult hair follicle dermal papilla (DP) and dermal sheath
(DS) cells are developmentally active cell populations with a proven role
in adult hair follicle-cycling activity and unique inductive powers. In stem
cell biology, the hair follicle epithelium has recently been the subject of a
great deal of investigation, but up to now, the follicle dermis has been
largely overlooked as a source of stem cells. Following the sporadic
appearance of muscle, lipid and bone-type cells in discretely isolated
follicle DP and DS cell primary cultures, we demonstrated that cultured
papilla and sheath cell lines were capable of being directed to lipid and
bone differentiation. Subsequently, for the first time, we produced clonal
DP and DS lines that had extended proliferative capabilities. Dye
exclusion has been reported to be an identifying feature of stem cells;
therefore, clonal papilla and sheath lines with differing capacity to exclude
rhodamine123 were cultured in medium known to induce adipocyte and
osteocyte differentiation. Both DS- and DP-derived clones showed the
capacity to make lipid and to produce calcified material; however,
different clones had varied behaviour and there was no obvious
correlation between their stem cell capabilities and dye exclusion or
selected gene expression markers. As a highly accessible source, capable of
being discretely isolated, the follicle has important potential as a stem cell
source for tissue engineering and cell therapy purposes. It will also be
interesting to compare follicle dermal stem cell properties with the broader
stem cell capabilities discovered in skin dermis and investigate whether, as
we believe, the follicle is a key dermal stem cell niche. Finally, the
discovery of stem cells in the dermis may have implications for certain
pathologies in which abnormal differentiation occurs in the skin.