Paracrine crosstalk between human hair follicle dermal papilla cells and microvascular endothelial cells

Eleonora Bassino, Franco Gasparri, Valentina Giannini, Luca Munaron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human follicle dermal papilla cells (FDPC) are a specialized population of mesenchymal cells located in the skin. They regulate hair follicle (HF) development and growth, and represent a reservoir of multipotent stem cells. Growing evidence supports the hypothesis that HF cycling is associated with vascular remodeling. Follicular keratinocytes release vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that sustains perifollicular angiogenesis leading to an increase of follicle and hair size. Furthermore, several human diseases characterized by hair loss, including Androgenetic Alopecia, exhibit alterations of skin vasculature. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying HF vascularization remain largely unknown. In vitro coculture approaches can be successfully employed to greatly improve our knowledge and shed more light on this issue. Here we used Transwell-based co-cultures to show that FDPC promote survival, proliferation and tubulogenesis of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) more efficiently than fibroblasts. Accordingly, FDPC enhance the endothelial release of VEGF and IGF-1, two well-known proangiogenic growth factors. Collectively, our data suggest a key role of papilla cells in vascular remodeling of the hair follicle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-390
Number of pages3
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015


  • Coculture
  • Endothelial cells
  • Follicle dermal papilla cells
  • Hair follicle
  • Hair growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


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