Title: Mouse skin is particularly susceptible to tumor initiation during early anagen of the hair cycle: possible involvement of hair follicle stem cells.
Authors: Miller SJ, Wei ZG, Wilson C, Dzubow L, Sun TT, Lavker RM
Journal: J Invest Dermatol 1993 Oct;101(4):591-4
PMID: 8409528, UI: 94014534
Affiliated institution: Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104.
Stem cells are believed to be a necessary target of chemical carcinogens. Based on autoradiographic, ultrastructural, and biologic criteria, we have recently proposed that hair follicle stem cells reside not in the bulb, but in the upper outer root sheath in an area called the bulge. Proliferating cells have been shown to be more susceptible to tumor initiation, and we have recently demonstrated that cells in the bulge undergo transient proliferation during early anagen. Therefore, we theorized that mouse skin should be particularly susceptible to carcinogen application during early anagen phase. In this paper, we show that early anagen Swiss and Sencar mouse skin is indeed particularly susceptible to one- and two-stage chemical carcinogenesis, resulting in tumor yields one to five times those obtained with telogen-timed carcinogen application. Our findings implicate a possible involvement of the bulge cells as precursors to some of the skin cancers, and support the concept that these are stem cells. These observations also raise important questions about the cellular origins and biologic behavior of chemically induced murine skin tumors.