Rat hair cells found to be true stem cells

Oct 04, 2005

Cells inside hair follicles are stem cells able to develop into the cell types needed for hair growth and follicle replacement, Swiss researchers claim.

The discovery came through research using rats, conducted by Yann Barrandon of the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology at Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues.

The scientists said rat whiskers, as most hair in mammals, grow in stages, with each whisker sprouting from a single follicle underneath the skin.

After a time, the hair bulb wears out, and special cells within the old follicle differentiate to build a new one. The researchers examined those special cells in the rat hair follicle to determine if they were adult stem cells.

They isolated single cells from the follicles of rat whiskers and grew them in culture for 140 generations. They then transplanted the cells into the skin of mice.

The cells were shown to form into new, complete follicles. The presence of a marker in each of the cell types in the new follicle verified the lineage from the transplanted cell. In addition, the cells expressed genes characteristic of stem cells.

The research appears in the online early edition of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers discover low-grade nonwoven cotton picks up 50 times own weight of oil

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Stem cell progeny tell their parents when to turn on

May 09, 2014

(Phys.org) —Stem cells switch off and on, sometimes dividing to produce progeny cells and sometimes resting. But scientists don't fully understand what causes the cells to toggle between active and quiet ...

Shining stem cells reveals how our skin is maintained

Aug 15, 2013

All organs in our body rely on stem cells in order to maintain their function. The skin is our largest organ and forms a shield against the environment. New research results from BRIC, University of Copenhagen ...

Recommended for you

Soccer's key role in helping migrants to adjust

17 hours ago

New research from the University of Adelaide has for the first time detailed the important role the sport of soccer has played in helping migrants to adjust to their new lives in Australia.

How dinosaurs shrank, survived and evolved into birds

19 hours ago

That starling at your birdfeeder? It is a dinosaur. The chicken on your dinner plate? Also a dinosaur. That mangy seagull scavenging for chips on the beach? Apart from being disgusting, yet again it is a ...

User comments : 0