c-Myc expression in human anagen hair follicles

C. Rumio, E. Donetti, A. Imberti, I. Barajon, E. Prosperi, M. F. Brivio, A. Boselli, E. Lavezzari, S. Veraldi, M. Bignotto, Paolo Castano

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The hair follicle represents a very attractive organ system for studying the precise balance between cell proliferation, growth, differentiation, and death of cells, because it periodically and regularly regenerates, retaining its morphogenetic signals throughout its life. One of the most intriguing oncogenes which is able to induce both cell growth and apoptosis, depending upon the environmental conditions, is c-Myc. The aim of the present study was to investigate its presence and localization in human hair follicles by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Our observations demonstrated the consistent presence of two clusters of c-Myc-expressing cells in anagen follicles, located in two annular regions of the inner root sheath, at the border between cells characterized by putative trichohyalin granules and cells which are keratinized. The lower group belongs to Henle's layer, while the upper group belongs to Huxley's layer. c-Myc oncoprotein seems to favour apoptosis/differentiation and may be a marker for terminal differentiation of trichocytes, at least in the inner root sheath. Our findings agree with the interpretation that the complex morphology of the hair follicle reflects its complex function; the extrusion of a highly organized multicellular structure, the hair shaft, driven by another highly organized multicellular structure, the inner root sheath.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1099
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Apoptosis
  • C-Myc
  • Hair follicle
  • Scalp
  • Terminal differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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    Rumio, C., Donetti, E., Imberti, A., Barajon, I., Prosperi, E., Brivio, M. F., Boselli, A., Lavezzari, E., Veraldi, S., Bignotto, M., & Castano, P. (2000). c-Myc expression in human anagen hair follicles. British Journal of Dermatology, 142(6), 1092-1099. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2133.2000.03532.x