Fully functional hair follicle regeneration through the rearrangement of stem cells and their niches

Nat Commun. 2012 Apr 17;3:784. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1784.


Organ replacement regenerative therapy is purported to enable the replacement of organs damaged by disease, injury or aging in the foreseeable future. Here we demonstrate fully functional hair organ regeneration via the intracutaneous transplantation of a bioengineered pelage and vibrissa follicle germ. The pelage and vibrissae are reconstituted with embryonic skin-derived cells and adult vibrissa stem cell region-derived cells, respectively. The bioengineered hair follicle develops the correct structures and forms proper connections with surrounding host tissues such as the epidermis, arrector pili muscle and nerve fibres. The bioengineered follicles also show restored hair cycles and piloerection through the rearrangement of follicular stem cells and their niches. This study thus reveals the potential applications of adult tissue-derived follicular stem cells as a bioengineered organ replacement therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Adult Stem Cells / transplantation
  • Animals
  • Bioengineering
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Hair Follicle / cytology*
  • Hair Follicle / transplantation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Middle Aged
  • Vibrissae / cytology
  • Vibrissae / transplantation