Hair cycle-dependent changes of alkaline phosphatase activity in the mesenchyme and epithelium in mouse vibrissal follicles

Dev Growth Differ. 2007 Apr;49(3):185-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2007.00907.x.


Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was detected in the restricted mesenchymal and epithelial regions in mouse vibrissal follicles. Its localization and strength dramatically changed during the hair cycle. Activity in the dermal papilla (DP) was moderate in very early anagen, reached a maximal level in early anagen, decreased at the proximal region of DP after mid anagen, and was kept at a low level during catagen. The bulbar dermal sheath showed intense ALP activity only in early anagen. Although most bulbar epithelium did not show ALP activity, germinative epidermal cells that were adjacent to the ALP-negative DP cells became ALP-positive in mid anagen and rearranged in a single layer so as to encapsulate the DP in mid catagen. During catagen, the outermost layer of bulbar epithelium became ALP-positive, which could be follicular epithelial precursors migrating from the bulge. Before the initiation of hair formation, ALP activity in the bulbar epithelium rapidly decreased and that in DP increased. These dynamic changes of ALP expression might be related to DP's functions in hair induction and also to reconstruction of the bulbar structure during the hair cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / analysis
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle
  • Epithelium / enzymology
  • Hair / embryology*
  • Hair / enzymology
  • Hair Follicle / enzymology*
  • Mesoderm / enzymology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Vibrissae / embryology
  • Vibrissae / enzymology


  • Alkaline Phosphatase