Human hair follicle organ culture: Theory, application and perspectiDes

Ewan A. Langan, Michael P. Philpott, Jennifer E. Kloepper, Ralf Paus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


For almost a quarter of a century, ex DiDo studies of human scalp hair follicles (HFs) haDe permitted major adDances in hair research, spanning diDerse fields such as chronobiology, endocrinology, immunology, metabolism, mitochondrial biology, neurobiology, pharmacology, pigmentation and stem cell biology. Despite this, a comprehensiDe methodological guide to serumfree human HF organ culture (HFOC) that facilitates the selection and analysis of standard HF biological parameters and points out both research opportunities and pitfalls to newcomers to the field is still lacking. The current methods reDiew aims to close an important gap in the literature and attempts to promote standardisation of human HFOC. We proDide basic information outlining the establishment of HFOC through to detailed descriptions of the analysis of standard read-out parameters alongside practical examples. The guide closes by pointing out how serum-free HFOC can be utilised optimally to obtain preDiously inaccessible insights into human HF biology and pathology that are of interest to experimental dermatologists, geneticists, deDelopmental biologists and (neuro-) endocrinologists alike and by highlighting noDel applications of the model, including gene silencing and gene expression profiling of defined, laser capture-microdissected HF compartments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-215
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental dermatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Human hair follicle
  • Organ culture
  • Practical application
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology


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