Lack of Collagen VI Promotes Wound-Induced Hair Growth

J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Oct;135(10):2358-2367. doi: 10.1038/jid.2015.187. Epub 2015 May 19.


Collagen VI is an extracellular matrix molecule that is abundantly expressed in the skin. However, the role of collagen VI in hair follicle growth is unknown. Here, we show that collagen VI is strongly deposited in hair follicles, and is markedly upregulated by skin wounding. Lack of collagen VI in Col6a1(-/-) mice delays hair cycling and growth under physiological conditions, but promotes wound-induced hair regrowth without affecting skin regeneration. Conversely, addition of purified collagen VI rescues the abnormal wound-induced hair regrowth in Col6a1(-/-) mice. Mechanistic studies revealed that the increased wound-induced hair regrowth of Col6a1(-/-) mice is triggered by activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, and is abolished by inhibition of this pathway. These findings highlight the essential relationships between extracellular matrix (ECM) and hair follicle regeneration, and suggest that collagen VI could be a potential therapeutic target for hair loss and other skin-related diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen Type VI / genetics
  • Collagen Type VI / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Hair / growth & development*
  • Hair Follicle / growth & development
  • Hair Follicle / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Random Allocation
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Up-Regulation
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway*
  • Wound Healing / genetics
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • Collagen Type VI
  • beta Catenin