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Revista argentina de dermatología

On-line version ISSN 1851-300X


PORRINO, ML et al. Hair follicle: an important cellular source in tissue engineering. Rev. argent. dermatol. [online]. 2014, vol.95, n.1, pp.38-46. ISSN 1851-300X.

The hair follicle is a microscopic organ, functionally and structurally complex. It can be divided into two distinct segments, the upper portion, stable and the lower portion, that undergoes regeneration every hair cycle. The hair follicle contains a variety of cells types, including stem cells. It fact, it is the most important niche of stem cells in the skin, with the added advantage of its easy accessibility. These stem cells are located in a prominence at the level of the insertion of the arrector pili muscle, called bulge. They are responsible of hair follicle regeneration each hair cycle, and also can form sebaceous glands and help in repopulation of the interfollicular epidermis after injury. The knowledge of hair follicle structure is making possible the use of different types of cells, especially stem cells, in skin tissue engineering. Furthermore, recent studies have differentiated follicle stem cells into different strains, for example: nervous, hematopoietic and vascular cells. Moreover, other late studies have focused on the hair follicle construction, with satisfactory results in mice, but not completely transferable to humans, which further research is needed. The possibility of human hair follicle regeneration would suppose a revolution in the broad world of alopecia. The aim of this review is to describe the anatomical and histological structure of the hair follicle, emphasizing the importance as stem cell niche, and its potential usefulness in the field of tissue engineering for the construction of various types of tissues.

Keywords : Hair follicle; Stem cells; Tissue engineering; Bulge; Trichogenesis.

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