Extensive Hair-Shaft Elongation by Isolated Mouse Whisker Follicles in Very Long-Term Gelfoam® Histoculture

Cao, Wenluo; Li, Lingna; Mii, Sumiyuki; Amoh, Yasuyuki; Liu, Fang; Hoffman, Robert M.
September 2015
PLoS ONE;09/30/2015, Vol. 10 Issue 10, p1
Academic Journal
We have previously studied mouse whisker follicles in Gelfoam® histoculture to determine the role of nestin-expressing plutipotent stem cells, located within the follicle, in the growth of the follicular sensory nerve. Long-term Gelfoam® whisker histoculture enabled hair follicle nestin-expressing stem cells to promote the extensive elongation of the whisker sensory nerve, which contained axon fibers. Transgenic mice in which the nestin promoter drives green fluorescent protein (ND-GFP) were used as the source of the whiskers allowing imaging of the nestin-expressing stem cells as they formed the follicular sensory nerve. In the present report, we show that Gelfoam®-histocultured whisker follicles produced growing pigmented and unpigmented hair shafts. Hair-shaft length increased rapidly by day-4 and continued growing until at least day-12 after which the hair-shaft length was constant. By day-63 in histoculture, the number of ND-GFP hair follicle stem cells increased significantly and the follicles were intact. The present study shows that Gelfoam® histoculture can support extensive hair-shaft growth as well as hair follicle sensory-nerve growth from isolated hair follicles which were maintained over very long periods of time. Gelfoam® histoculture of hair follicles can provide a very long-term period for evaluating novel agents to promote hair growth.


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