Intact hair follicle innervation is not essential for anagen induction and development

Marcus Maurer, Eva M.J. Peters, Vladimir A. Botchkarev, Ralf Paus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Neuropeptides produced, stored and secreted by the unusually dense sensory and autonomic innervation of hair follicles (HFs) can induce hair growth (anagen) and may be involved in hair growth control. To test the role of follicle innervation of HF cycling in vivo, we generated innervation-deficient HFs by unilateral surgical denervation of a defined region of back skin in C57BL/6 mice and assessed its effect on spontaneous and induced anagen development. Successful denervation was demonstrated by the absence of PGP 9.5+ or tyrosine hydroxylase+ nerves and nerve-associated neuropeptides (substance P, CGRP). By quantitative histomorphometry, no significant difference in spontaneous or cyclosporin A-induced anagen development could be detected between sham-operated control skin and denervated skin. Only after hair growth induction by depilation, a discrete, marginally significant retardation of anagen development was apparent in denervated HFs. Thus, even though cutaneous nerves may exert a minor modulatory role in depilation-induced hair growth, they are not essential for normal murine anagen development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • C57BL/6 mice
  • Denervation
  • Hair growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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