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J Dermatol. 2017 Oct;44(10):1097-1104. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.13897. Epub 2017 Jun 8.

Aging in hair follicle stem cells and niche microenvironment.

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Department of Dermatology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Su Zhou, China.
Institute of Medical Biology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore.
Department of Dermatology, Zhengzhou Children's Hospital, Zhengzhou, China.


Hair graying and hair loss are prominent and common characteristics of the elderly population. In some individuals these processes can significantly impact their quality of life, leading to depression, anxiety and other serious mental health problems. Accordingly, there has been much interest in understanding the complex physiological changes within the hair follicle in the aging individual. It is now known that hair follicles represent a prototypical stem cell niche, where both micro- and macroenvironmental influences are integrated alongside stem cell-stem cell and stem cell-stem niche interactions to determine hair growth or hair follicle senescence. Recent studies have identified imbalanced stem cell differentiation and altered stem cell activity as important factors during hair loss, indicating new avenues for the development of therapeutic agents to stimulate hair growth. Here, we pull together the latest findings on the hair follicle stem cell niche and the multifactorial interactions underlying the various forms of hair loss.


alopecia; hair follicle; hair graying; niche; stem cells

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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