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J Invest Dermatol. 1996 Mar;106(3):471-5.

Identification and localization of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP) messenger RNAs in human hair follicle dermal papilla.

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Center for Hormone Research, University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Australia.


The role of the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in hair follicle biology has recently been recognized, although their actions, sites of production, and modulation by the insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins (IGFBPs) have not to date been defined. IGF-I is essential for normal hair growth and development, and may be important in regulation of the hair growth cycle. In many culture systems, IGF-I actions are modulated by the IGFBPs. Thus, if IGFBPs are produced in the human hair follicle, they may play a role in targeting IGF-I to its receptor or may modulate IGF-I action by interaction with matrix proteins. We have used in situ hybridization to localize messenger RNA for the six IGFBPs in anagen hair follicles. Anti-sense and sense RNA probes for the IGFBPs (IGFBP-1 to -6) were produced, and 5-micrometer sections of adult facial skin were probed. Messenger RNA for IGFBP-3, -4, and -5 were identified, with predominantly IGFBP-3 and -5 mRNA found in the dermal papilla, and to a lesser extent IGFBP-4 mRNA. IGFBP-4 mRNA was also found at the dermal papilla/epithelial matrix border. Messenger RNAs for both IGFBP-4 and -5 were also demonstrated in the dermal sheath surrounding the hair follicle. Messenger RNAs for IGFBP-1, -2, and -6 were not identified. These studies demonstrate specific localization of IGFBP mRNAs in hair follicles, suggesting that they each play specific roles in the local modulation of IGF action during the hair growth cycle.

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