Gebäude 21, 1. OG
+49 30 838 56034
Hair cycle disturbances are common in dogs and comparable to some alopecic disorders in humans. A normal hair cycle is maintained by follicular stem cells which are predominately found in an area known as the bulge. Due to similar morphological characteristics of the bulge area in humans and dogs, the shared particularity of compound hair follicles as well as similarities in follicular biomarker expression, the dog is a promising model to study human hair cycle and stem cell disorders. To gain insight into the spatial distribution of follicular keratinocytes with stem cell potential in canine compound follicles, we microdissected hair follicles in anagen and telogen from skin samples of freshly euthanized dogs. The keratinocytes isolated from different locations were investigated for their colony forming efficiency, growth and differentiation potential as well as clonal growth. Our results indicate that i) compound and single hair follicles exhibit a comparable spatial distribution pattern with respect to cells with high growth potential and stem cell-like characteristics, ii) the lower isthmus (comprising the bulge) harbors most cells with high growth potential in both, the anagen and the telogen hair cycle stage, iii) unlike in other species, colonies with highest growth potential are rather small with an irregular perimeter and iv) the keratinocytes derived from the bulbar region exhibit characteristics of actively dividing transit amplifying cells. Our results now provide the basis to conduct comparative studies of normal dogs and those with hair cycle disorders with the possibility to extend relevant findings to human patients.