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Br J Dermatol. 1990 Jun;122(6):777-84.

Telogen skin contains an inhibitor of hair growth.

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Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.


We have investigated whether C57B1-6 mouse skin with all its follicles in the telogen stage of the hair cycle contains a hair-growth inhibitory activity, as opposed to skin with anagen follicles. Crude aqueous extracts of whole telogen mouse skin (TE), anagen skin (AE) or vehicle alone (V) were injected intraperitoneally into mice in which anagen had previously been induced by plucking of telogen hair follicles. Injection of TE, but not AE or V, significantly retarded the development of anagen follicles, as measured by macroscopic and quantitative microscopic hair growth parameters (skin pigmentation and thickness, appearance of trichohyaline granules) and the incorporation of tritiated thymidine into mouse skin from animals previously treated with either TE or V (skin organ culture). This inhibitory activity seemed to be localized to the epidermis and was also present in rat epidermis. We suggest that this apparently non-species-specific inhibitor present in telogen skin may play a role in regulating the hair cycle in rodents.

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