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J Invest Dermatol. 2016 Jan;136(1):34-44. doi: 10.1038/JID.2015.354.

A Guide to Studying Human Hair Follicle Cycling In Vivo.

Oh JW1,2,3,4,5, Kloepper J6, Langan EA6, Kim Y7, Yeo J8, Kim MJ9, Hsi TC3,4,5, Rose C10, Yoon GS11, Lee SJ9, Seykora J12, Kim JC1,2, Sung YK2, Kim M#1,2, Paus R#13,14, Plikus MV#3,4,5.

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Hair Transplantation Center, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
Center for Complex Biological Systems, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
Department of Dermatology, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.
Division of Molecular Pathology, the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Department of Dermatology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Dermatohistologisches Labor Rose/Bartsch, Luebeck, Germany.
Departments of Pathology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Dermatology Research Centre, Institute of Inflammation and Repair, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK.
Department of Dermatology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.
Contributed equally

Erratum in


Hair follicles (HFs) undergo lifelong cyclical transformations, progressing through stages of rapid growth (anagen), regression (catagen), and relative "quiescence" (telogen). Given that HF cycling abnormalities underlie many human hair growth disorders, the accurate classification of individual cycle stages within skin biopsies is clinically important and essential for hair research. For preclinical human hair research purposes, human scalp skin can be xenografted onto immunocompromised mice to study human HF cycling and manipulate long-lasting anagen in vivo. Although available for mice, a comprehensive guide on how to recognize different human hair cycle stages in vivo is lacking. In this article, we present such a guide, which uses objective, well-defined, and reproducible criteria, and integrates simple morphological indicators with advanced, (immuno)-histochemical markers. This guide also characterizes human HF cycling in xenografts and highlights the utility of this model for in vivo hair research. Detailed schematic drawings and representative micrographs provide examples of how best to identify human HF stages, even in suboptimally sectioned tissue, and practical recommendations are given for designing human-on-mouse hair cycle experiments. Thus, this guide seeks to offer a benchmark for human hair cycle stage classification, for both hair research experts and newcomers to the field.

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