Wnt signaling through the beta-catenin pathway is sufficient to maintain, but not restore, anagen-phase characteristics of dermal papilla cells

J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Feb;122(2):239-45. doi: 10.1046/j.0022-202X.2004.22224.x.


Dermal papilla cells of the hair follicle can be maintained in an active, hair-inducing state in vitro when cocultured with cells secreting Wnt3a. By inducing cultured dermal papilla cells to secrete Wnt themselves, we demonstrate that this activity is a direct effect of Wnt signaling to dermal papilla cells. We further demonstrate that the effects of Wnt3a are exerted through activation of the beta-catenin signal transduction pathway and do not require alternative Wnt transduction cascades. Once dermal papilla cells have lost hair-inducing properties in vitro, neither treatment with Wnt nor expression of a truncated and activating form of beta-catenin is sufficient to restore these properties to the cultured cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Hair Follicle / cytology*
  • Hair Follicle / metabolism*
  • Indicators and Reagents / metabolism
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Pregnancy
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Retroviridae / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Wnt3 Protein
  • Wnt3A Protein
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNB1 protein, mouse
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Wnt3 Protein
  • Wnt3A Protein
  • Wnt3a protein, mouse
  • beta Catenin
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins