Neural mechanisms of hair growth control

Ralf Paus, Eva M.J. Peters, Stefan Eichmüller, Vladimir A. Botchkarev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clinical and experimental observations have long suggested that skin nerves have 'trophic' functions in hair follicle development, growth and/or cycling, even though the molecular and cellular basis of the underlying neuroepithelial interactions has remained obscure. Here, we critically review currently available evidence arguing in favor of or against the existence of neural mechanisms of hair growth control, and outline why the murine hair cycle provides an excellent experimental system for characterizing and manipulating piloneural interactions. Summarizing relevant, recent data from the C57BL/6 mouse model, it is pointed out that the sensory and autonomic innervation of normal pelage hair follicles, the substance P skin content, and cutaneous mast cell-nerve contacts show striking changes during synchronized hair follicle cycling. Furthermore, the murine hair follicle appears to be both a source and a target of neurotrophins, whereas neuropharmacologic manipulations alter murine hair follicle cycling in vivo. For example, anagen is induced by substance P or adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), and by the experimentally triggered release of neuropeptides from sensory nerves and of neurotransmitters from adrenergic nerves. Taken together, this argues in favor of neuroepithelial interactions as regulatory elements in hair growth control and suggests that the study of piloneural interactions promises important insights into general principles of neuroepithelial communication, namely during epithelial morphogenesis and remodeling. We delineate a hypothetical working model of piloneural interactions and propose that targeted manipulations deserve systematic exploration as a novel strategy for managing hair growth disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Hair Follicle
Hair
Growth
Substance P
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Skin
Growth Disorders
Nerve Growth Factors
Neuropeptides
Inbred C57BL Mouse
Morphogenesis
Growth and Development
Mast Cells
Adrenergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Communication

Keywords

  • Hair follicle
  • Nerve
  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Neurotrophins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Neural mechanisms of hair growth control. / Paus, Ralf; Peters, Eva M.J.; Eichmüller, Stefan; Botchkarev, Vladimir A.

In: Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings, Vol. 2, No. 1, 01.01.1997, p. 61-68.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Paus, Ralf ; Peters, Eva M.J. ; Eichmüller, Stefan ; Botchkarev, Vladimir A. / Neural mechanisms of hair growth control. In: Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings. 1997 ; Vol. 2, No. 1. pp. 61-68.
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