Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Invest Dermatol. 1997 Oct;109(4):534-40.

Primary mouse keratinocyte cultures contain hair follicle progenitor cells with multiple differentiation potential.

Author information

  • 1Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown 02129, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Invest Dermatol 1998 Jan;110(1):102.


The interfollicular epidermis contains a single type of terminally differentiated keratinocytes, whereas hair follicles are composed of a minimum of six or seven distinct types. Whether or not these various populations of terminally differentiated keratinocytes originate from one or more progenitor cells has not been established. A related and important question is whether keratinocyte progenitor cells with a pluripotent potential, able to form not only epidermis but also hair follicles, can be maintained in vitro for any period of time. We have addressed these questions using skin reconstitution assays with admixed populations of genetically labeled, cultured keratinocytes. Examination of reconstituted epidermis and hair follicles showed that neither was composed of a random mixture of differently labeled keratinocytes, as would be predicted if they originated from a random reassociation of cells. Instead, the reconstituted interfollicular epidermis contained distinct columnar units, comprising all the overlying layers and most likely derived from a single progenitor cell. In contrast, hair follicles were found to be composed of cells of multiple origin, with each population showing a striking localization to a separate concentric region. The vast majority of reconstituted follicles appeared to derive from a minimum of two or, in a significant fraction of cases, three progenitor cells, one for the generation of the shaft (cuticle, cortex, and medulla), one for the inner root sheath, and the third for the outer root sheath. The general implications of these findings for epidermis and hair follicle formation and for keratinocyte stem cell cultivation are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk