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Cultured human and rat tooth papilla cells induce hair follicle regeneration and fiber growth.

Reynolds, A. J. and Jahoda, C. A. B. (2004) 'Cultured human and rat tooth papilla cells induce hair follicle regeneration and fiber growth.', Differentiation., 72 (9-10). pp. 566-575.


The mesenchymal–epithelial interactions that characterize the early stages of tooth and hair follicle morphogenesis share certain similarities, and there is increasing evidence that mesenchymal cells derived from both mature structures retain interactive and stem cell-like properties. This study aimed to gauge the cross-appendage inductive capabilities of cultured tooth dental papilla (or pulp) cells from different species and ages of donor. Adult human and juvenile rat tooth papilla cells were implanted into surgically inactivated hair follicles within two different microenvironments. The human cells interacted with follicle epithelium to regenerate new end bulbs and create multiple differentiated hair fibers. Rodent tooth dental cells also induced new epithelial matrix structures and stimulated de novo hair formation. However, in many instances they also elicited mineralization and bone formation, a phenomenon that appeared to relate to their donor's age; the type of tooth of origin; and the host environment. Taken together, this study reveals that cultured dental papilla cells from postnatal mammals (adult, juvenile, and newborn) retain inductive molecular signals that must be common to both hair and teeth follicles. It highlights the stem cell-like qualities and morphogenetic abilities of tooth and hair follicle cells from mature humans, and their capacity for cross-appendage and interspecies communication and interaction. Besides the developmental implications, the present findings have relevance for stem cell biology, hair growth, tissue repair, and other biotechnologies. Moreover, the critical importance of considering the local microenvironment in which different cells/tissues are naturally or experimentally engineered is firmly demonstrated.

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Record Created:16 May 2007
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:31

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