A Two-Stepped Culture Method for Efficient Production of Trichogenic Keratinocytes

Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2015 Oct;21(10):1070-9. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2015.0033. Epub 2015 Jun 12.


Successful hair follicle (HF) neogenesis in adult life depends on the existence of both capable dermal cells and competent epidermal keratinocytes that recapitulate embryonic organogenesis through epithelial-mesenchymal interaction. In tissue engineering, the maintenance of trichogenic potential of adult epidermal cells, while expanding them remains a challenging issue. We found that although HF outer root sheath keratinocytes could be expanded for more than 100 passages as clonogenic cells without losing the proliferative potential with a 3T3J2 fibroblast feeder layer, these keratinocytes were unable to form new HFs when combined with inductive HF dermal papilla (DP) cells. However, when these high-passage keratinocytes were cocultured with HF DP cells for 4 days in vitro, they regained the trichogenic ability to form new HFs after transplantation. We found that the short-term coculture with DP cells enhanced both Wnt/β-catenin signaling, a signaling cascade key to HF development, and upregulated the expression of HF-specific genes, including K6, K16, K17, and K75, in keratinocytes, indicating that these cells were poised toward a HF fate. Hence, efficient production of trichogenic keratinocytes can be obtained by a two-stepped procedure with initial cell expansion with a 3T3J2 fibroblast feeder followed by short-term coculture with DP cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Line
  • Feeder Cells / cytology
  • Feeder Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Hair Follicle / cytology
  • Hair Follicle / metabolism*
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism*
  • Keratinocytes / transplantation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Antigens, Differentiation