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J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2003 Jun;8(1):28-38.

Hair follicle stem cells.

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Department of Dermatology, The Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


The workshop on Hair Follicle Stem Cells brought together investigators who have used a variety of approaches to try to understand the biology of follicular epithelial stem cells, and the role that these cells play in regulating the hair cycle. One of the main concepts to emerge from this workshop is that follicular epithelial stem cells are multipotent, capable of giving rise not only to all the cell types of the hair, but also to the epidermis and the sebaceous gland. Furthermore, such multipotent stem cells may represent the ultimate epidermal stem cell. Another example of epithelial stem cell and transit amplifying cell plasticity, was the demonstration that adult corneal epithelium, under the influence of embryonic skin dermis could form an epidermis as well as hair follicles. With regards to the location of follicular epithelial stem cells, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural data was presented, indicating that cells with stem cell attributes were localized to the prominent bulge region of developing human fetal hair follicles. Finally, a new notion was put forth concerning the roles that the bulge-located stem cells and the hair germ cells played with respect to the hair cycle.

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