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Cell. 2001 Jan 26;104(2):233-45.

Morphogenesis and renewal of hair follicles from adult multipotent stem cells.

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Department of Biology, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 46 rue d'Ulm, 75230 Cedex 05, Paris, France.


The upper region of the outer root sheath of vibrissal follicles of adult mice contains multipotent stem cells that respond to morphogenetic signals to generate multiple hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and epidermis, i.e., all the lineages of the hairy skin. At the time when hair production ceases and when the lower region of the follicle undergoes major structural changes, the lower region contains a significant number of clonogenic keratinocytes, and can then respond to morphogenetic signals. This demonstrates that multipotent stem cells migrate to the root of the follicle to produce whisker growth. Moreover, our results indicate that the clonogenic keratinocytes are closely related, if not identical, to the multipotent stem cells, and that the regulation of whisker growth necessitates a precise control of stem cell trafficking.

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