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Beard Hair Cells Express Genes Differently Than Scalp

Four genes expressed at higher levels in cells from beard versus scalp hair follicles

THURSDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Four genes are expressed at higher levels in dermal papilla cells from beard compared with scalp hair follicles, which may serve as biomarkers relevant to the different phenotype of beard follicles, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Susan E. Rutberg, and colleagues from the Gillette/P&G Technical Center in Needham, Mass., examined gene expression before and after androgen treatment using gene array analysis. They tested androgen-sensitive and androgen-insensitive human dermal papilla cells cultured from beard and occipital scalp hair follicles, respectively.

The researchers found that the genes sfrp-2, mn1, atp1-beta-1, and fibulin1-d were expressed at higher levels in beard dermal papilla cells, regardless of androgen treatment. The differences were found in both cultured cells and cells isolated from intact beard and scalp follicles.

"Our findings introduce potentially novel signaling pathways in dermal papilla cells," Rutberg and colleagues conclude. "In addition, this study supports that cultured dermal papilla cells provide a cell-based model system that is reflective of the biology of in vivo hair follicle cells."

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