Hair Follicle Development in Mouse Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Skin Organoids

Jiyoon Lee, Robert Bӧscke, Pei Ciao Tang, Byron H. Hartman, Stefan Heller, Karl R. Koehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The mammalian hair follicle arises during embryonic development from coordinated interactions between the epidermis and dermis. It is currently unclear how to recapitulate hair follicle induction in pluripotent stem cell cultures for use in basic research studies or in vitro drug testing. To date, generation of hair follicles in vitro has only been possible using primary cells isolated from embryonic skin, cultured alone or in a co-culture with stem cell-derived cells, combined with in vivo transplantation. Here, we describe the derivation of skin organoids, constituting epidermal and dermal layers, from a homogeneous population of mouse pluripotent stem cells in a 3D culture. We show that skin organoids spontaneously produce de novo hair follicles in a process that mimics normal embryonic hair folliculogenesis. This in vitro model of skin development will be useful for studying mechanisms of hair follicle induction, evaluating hair growth or inhibitory drugs, and modeling skin diseases. Lee at el. describe a defined in vitro 3D culture system that generates skin organoids from mouse pluripotent stem cells. The skin organoids contain self-organized skin layers and skin appendages, including hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and adipocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-254
Number of pages13
JournalCell Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D culture
  • dermis
  • epidermis
  • hair follicle
  • organoids
  • pluripotent stem cells
  • skin
  • skin appendages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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