Hair Follicle Plasticity with Complemented Immune-modulation Following Follicular Unit Extraction
Androgen exposure stimulates the growth of beard hair follicles. The follicle dermal papilla appears to be the site of androgen action; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate this process are not well understood. In an attempt to identify genes that contribute to the androgen-responsive phenotype, we compared gene expression patterns in unstimulated and androgen-treated cultured human dermal papilla cells isolated from beard (androgen-sensitive) and occipital scalp (androgen-insensitive) hair follicles. Through this analysis, we identified three genes that are expressed at significantly higher levels in beard dermal papilla cells. One of these genes, sfrp-2 has been identified as a dermal papilla signature gene in mouse pelage follicles. Two of these genes, mn1 and atp1beta1, have not been studied in the hair follicle. A fourth, fibulin-1d, was slightly upregulated in beard dermal papilla cells. The differences in the expression of these genes in cultured beard and scalp dermal papilla cells reflected similar differences in microdissected dermal papilla isolated from intact beard and scalp follicles. Our findings introduce potentially novel signaling pathways in dermal papilla cells. In addition, this study supports that cultured dermal papilla cells provide a cell-based model system that is reflective of the biology of in vivo hair follicle cells.