Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and hair follicle regression

Sven Müller-Röver, Silvia Bulfone-Paus, Bori Handjiski, Pia Welker, John P. Sundberg, Ian A. McKay, Vladimir A. Botchkarev, Ralf Paus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Although the intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is recognized for its pivotal role in inflammation and immune responses, its role in developmental systems, such as the cyclic growth (anagen) and regression (catagen) of the hair follicle, remains to be explored. Here we demonstrate that ICAM-1 expression in murine skin is even more widespread and more developmentally regulated than was previously believed. In addition to endothelial cells, selected epidermal and follicular keratinocyte subpopulations, as well as interfollicular fibroblasts, express ICAM-1. Murine hair follicles express ICAM-1 only late during morphogenesis. Thereafter, morphologically identical follicles markedly differ in their ICAM-1 expression patterns, which become strikingly hair cycle-dependent in both intra- and extrafollicular skin compartments. Minimal ICAM-1 and leukocyte function-associated (LFA-1) protein and mRNA expression is observed during early anagen and maximal expression during late anagen and catagen. Keratinocytes of the distal outer root sheath, fibroblasts of the perifollicular connective tissue sheath, and perifollicular blood vessels exhibit maximal ICAM-1 immunoreactivity during catagen, which corresponds to changes of LFA-1 expression on perifollicular macrophages. Finally, ICAM-1- deficient mice display significant catagen acceleration compared to wild-type controls. Therefore, ICAM-1 upregulation is not limited to pathological situations but is also important for skin and hair follicle remodeling. Collectively, this suggests a new and apparently nonimmunological function for ICAM-1-related signaling in cutaneous biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-568
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesion molecules
  • Catagen
  • Connective tissue sheath
  • Depilation
  • Hair cycle
  • ICAM-1-deficient mice
  • LFA-1
  • Mouse mutant
  • Skin adhesion receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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