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Int J Trichology. 2015 Jan-Mar;7(1):16-23. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.153451.

Hair Follicle Plasticity with Complemented Immune-modulation Following Follicular Unit Extraction.

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Zentrum für Moderne Haartransplantation/Centre for Modern Hair Transplantation, Berlin, Germany.
University for Technologies Berlin, Institute of Biotechnology, Berlin, Germany.



During hair transplantation as an effective therapy for androgenetic alopecia, hair follicles were typically trans-located from the nonaffected occipital to the balding frontal or vertex region of the scalp. Although this is an autologous intervention, the donor and recipient hair follicle tissue differ in composition and local environment.


In two case studies, we investigated the changes in hair follicle morphology and the immune status of scalp and body hair follicles from different origins transplanted to the eyebrows and the frontal scalp using follicular unit extraction.


Quantitative histomorphometry and immunohistochemistry revealed a transformation in hair follicle length and dermal papilla size of the scalp, chest and beard hair follicles, which had been re-extracted after a 6-month period posttransplantation. Furthermore, a significant infiltration of B and T lymphocytes as well as macrophages could be observed most prominently in the infundibulum of transplanted hair follicles.


The presented results demonstrate that hair follicle units from different body sites are capable to replace miniaturized or degraded hair follicles in different recipient areas like scalp or eyebrows as they keep their intrinsic capability or acquire the potential to readjust plastically within the beneficiary skin region. The essential secretory crosstalk underlying the observed tissue remodeling is possibly mediated by the infiltrating immune cells.


Dermal papilla; hair follicle plasticity; hair transplantation; intermittent follicular unit extraction

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