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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003 Dec;15(6):771-7.

The multifaceted adult epidermal stem cell.

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Laboratory of Stem Cell Dynamics: School of Life Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Adult epidermal stem cells renew the epithelial compartment of the skin throughout life and are the most accessible of all adult stem cells. Most importantly, epidermal stem cells can be efficiently cultivated and transplanted, a significant advantage for cell and gene therapy. Recent work has pointed to the hair follicle as the main repository of multipotent stem cells in skin. Hair follicles, which are often affected in the mouse by spontaneous or man-made mutations, have become superb model systems to study the cellular and molecular factors that regulate the proliferation, migration and fate of adult stem cells.

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