Hair follicles transplanted into a hairless mouse, which form connections with the surrounding tissue including muscle and nerve fibres are reported in a study published in Nature Communications this week. The work could further enhance the ability to transplant hairs generated from stem cells.
Organs such as teeth, salivary glands and hair follicles have been previously engineered. Takashi Tsuji and colleagues previously reported that a hair follicle and its shaft can be regenerated from embryonic follicle stem cells. Using similar starting tissue, and also adult hair follicle-derived stem cells, they now show that the bioengineered hair follicle germs can be transplanted into hairless mice and form functional hair follicles. The hair follicles can connect with the surrounding skin layer, muscles and nerve fibres and in response to a stimulus can stand on end. The transplanted follicles can also undergo normal hair cycling.
The findings further our understanding of hair follicle transplantation.