Epidermal stem cells

Check this out, it seems like the scientists still don’t know much about stem cells that regulate hair growth. They are still trying to figure out where the stem cells are located.

Epidermal stem cells: practical perspectives and potential uses
O. Abbas and M. Mahalingam*

Department of Dermatology, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon

*Dermatopathology Section, Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, U.S.A.


Throughout adult life, the epidermis and the hair follicle undergo a perpetual cycle of growth, regression and rest. Stem cells in the epidermis not only ensure the maintenance of epidermal homeostasis and hair regeneration, but also contribute to repair of the epidermis after injury. These stem cells lie within specific niches in the hair follicle and the epidermis. The availability of monoclonal antibodies that can be used on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue has greatly facilitated the use of this methodology as an adjunct to uncovering stem cell niches. In this review, we attempt to provide an overview of the potential markers available to identify and study stem cells in an effort to providing a better understanding of the pathogenesis of skin diseases including disorders of hair loss and malignancies. The potential uses of these markers in prognosis and in expanding the therapeutic options in several disorders will also be addressed.