Title: Hair cycle stage of the mouse vibrissa follicle determines subsequent fiber growth and follicle behavior in vitro.
Authors: Robinson M, Reynolds AJ, Jahoda CA
Journal: J Invest Dermatol 1997 Apr;108(4):495-500
PMID: 9077480, UI: 97232205
Affiliated institution: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Durham, United Kingdom.
The establishment of culture models representative of all aspects of in vivo hair follicle behavior is an important goal for theoretic and analytic studies. Rodent vibrissa follicles have regular, predictable, and relatively short growth cycles. In this investigation, we took advantage of these properties; we classified mouse vibrissa follicles according to different phases in the hair cycle and then compared fiber growth and morphologic changes in culture. Follicles isolated in the early phase of the growth cycle produced fine growing fibers with an average growth that exceeded 3 mm over 15 d. Even when hair growth had slowed or halted subsequently, histology showed that these follicles retained an anagen-like morphology. By contrast, follicles isolated toward the end of the growing cycle produced thicker fibers for much shorter periods, after which growth ceased and the fibers lifted up from the base of the follicle. Internally, these specimens resembled their telogen counterparts in situ. Follicles isolated in mid-growth demonstrated intermediate fiber growth characteristics. In organ culture, mouse vibrissa follicles therefore closely reflect their in vivo origin in growth characteristics and cycle timing. These data provide new opportunities for studying hair growth cycle mechanisms in vitro, but present a caveat for quantitative studies because there may be a greater growth cycle-related variation than has previously been assumed.