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Human hair production by scalp samples grafted onto nude mice. Biochemical data on normal human hair and the genetic defect trichothiodystrophy


Human hair production by scalp samples grafted onto nude mice. Biochemical data on normal human hair and the genetic defect trichothiodystrophy



Journal of Dermatological Science 7 Suppl: S39-S46



ISSN/ISBN: 0923-1811

PMID: 7528049

DOI: 10.1016/0923-1811(94)90034-5

The authors report on a laboratory model for continuous production of human hair during long periods of time. This study shows that the amino acid composition of hairs collected in situ from human scalp was similar to that of terminal hairs produced by the donors' scalp follicles grafted and maintained onto nude mice. A similar experiment was performed with scalp samples from a foetus with trichothiodystrophy (TTD). The amino acid analysis of TTD lanugo hairs and of the TTD shafts produced by grafted scalp specimens was consistent with findings published in the literature: severe decrease of cys (< 50% of control values) and moderate decrease of thr and pro (80% of control values or less) with an increase of ala-asp-ile-leu-lys-met-phe (120% of control values or more). These changes indicate a decrease of high sulphur proteins (HSP) and consequently a relative increase of keratins. Furthermore, when foetal scalp samples were grafted, the lanugo hairs transformed into terminal hairs along with normal initiation of melanisation. Hence, keratin and HSP gene expression and regulation of melanogenesis in the normal and genetically defective TTD human hair follicle grafts appear to be independent of systemic host-related factors, at least during a 6 months follow-up period after grafting. The present experimental evidence further supports conclusions gained from previous assays with normal and TTD variant scalp grafts, i.e. that the nude mouse bearing human scalp specimens may serve as a clinically relevant laboratory model for evaluating regulation of normal and abnormal gene expression in the hair follicle under well controlled experimental conditions.

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Accession: 043289930

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