Evidence in rodents and humans has suggested that stress may impact hair growth. Here, Ya-Chieh Hsu and colleagues show that stress limits hair growth through the release by adrenal glands of the stress hormone corticosterone. They show that corticosterone inhibits the activation of hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) required for hair growth. Corticosterone does so indirectly by suppressing the expression in the HFSC niche of a secreted factor, Gas6, that otherwise stimulates HFSC activation. Together, this study provides novel insights into the impact of stress on tissue homeostasis.
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