The autologous transplantation of hair follicles that have been separated into single follicular units is an accepted treatment for androgenetic alopecia. Recent studies demonstrate that the multiple stem cell populations and surrounding cutaneous tissues coordinately regulate the hair follicle functions and skin homeostasis. Therefore, the critical issues for consideration regarding functional hair restoration therapy are reproduction the correct connectivity and cooperation with host cutaneous tissues, including the arrector pili muscle (APM) and nerve system. We report successful establishment of mouse single follicular transplantation model and autonomous restoration of transplanted hair follicle piloerection in mouse skin. Transplanted hair follicles were responsive to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and formed proper connections with surrounding host tissues such as APM and nerve fibers, which in turn connect with not only the hair follicle bulge region but also the APM. These results demonstrate that the piloerection ability of transplanted hair follicles can be estimated quantitatively. This study makes a substantial contribution towards the development of transplantation therapy that will facilitate future functional regeneration therapy for skin and skin appendages.
© 2012 Japanese Dermatological Association.