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Sie sind hier: Startseite Forschung Franz, Thomas Prof. Research

air follicle studies in mutant mice

The hair follicle is an appendage of the skin. Apart from an interest in molecular mechanisms causing alopecia, the murine hair follicle has become a major focus of research for several reasons:

 

a. The hair follicle has a lifelong cycle of phases of growth (anagen), regression (catagen) and resting (telogen), which makes it suitable to study the control of proliferation and apoptosis as well as the timely activation of stem cells in an easily accessible miniature organ system.

b. Stem cells residing in the bulge region of the hair follicle give rise not only to the root sheath and the hair shaft, but also to the sebaceous gland associated with the hair follicle. Thus, fundamental questions regarding decisions of lineage restriction during organ development have been investigated in the hair follicle.

c. A great number of genes and signalling pathways operating during important steps of development also govern phases of hair follicle morphogenesis and cycling, offering an alternative approach to their investigation.

d. In some mutant mice, the genetic alteration affects not only the hair follicle, but other organs (e.g. thymus, stomach, brain etc.) as well. In such cases, elucidating the molecular mechanism underlying the hair follicle defect can also further the knowledge of functional and developmental mechanisms in other organ systems.

e. There are several hundred mutant mouse lines with hair follicle defects available to researchers interested in a phenotype driven approach to the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms involving hair follicles.

 

Funding:

The ongoing work on “Molecular characterisation of a novel mouse ENU-induced mutation causing cicatricial alopecia with neutrophilic infiltrates” is supported by a research grant from Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation.   

 

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