Sphere formation restores and confers hair-inducing capacity in cultured mesenchymal cells

Exp Dermatol. 2011 Aug;20(8):679-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2011.01281.x. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Interactions between epithelial and dermal cells are essential for hair follicle morphogenesis and maintenance. In experimental trials of hair regeneration, isolated dermal cells have been shown to possess hair-inducing capacity. However, dermal cells lose this potential immediately after cultivation. Sphere-forming multipotent cells derived from the dermis possess hair-inducing capacity. These previous findings raise the question of whether hair-inducing capacity depends on the identity as dermal cells or the process of sphere formation. To address this issue, we compared the in vitro and in vivo characteristics of two-dimensionally cultured or thereafter sphere formation-induced dermal and lung mesenchymal cells. We show that sphere-forming mesenchymal cells exhibited higher expression of Wnt signalling genes. Sphere-forming cells but not two-dimensionally cultured cells possessed in vivo hair-inducing capacity. These data suggest that various mesenchymal cells attain hair-inducing capacity through the process of sphere formation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dermis / cytology
  • Dermis / physiology
  • Hair / cytology
  • Hair / embryology*
  • Hair / physiology
  • Hair Follicle / cytology
  • Hair Follicle / physiology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / physiology
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology