, Volume 297, Issue 3, pp 121-126
Date: 05 Aug 2005

Human Scalp Dermal Papilla and Fibrous Sheath Cells have a different expression profile of Matrix Metalloproteinases in vitro when compared to Scalp Dermal Fibroblasts

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The dermal papilla is a cluster of specialised mesenchymal cells at the bottom of the mammalian hair follicle, embedded in a loose extracellular matrix. These cells have the capability to induce and support hair growth via close epithelial–mesenchymal interactions with the keratinocytes surrounding the hair matrix. The extracellular matrix of the dermal papilla differs markedly from the interfollicular matrix and plays a key role in the maintenance of hair growth. In this study we investigated the expression pattern and activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and their tissue inhibitor in in vitro cultures of cells derived from scalp dermal papilla and fibrous sheath. Expression and activity of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, TIMP-1, TIMP-2 and MT1-MMP were analysed in those cells cultured in contact with one of the relevant protein component of the dermal matrix, collagen type I as well as in monolayer. Zymographic analysis showed activation of MMP-2 in all cells grown in three-dimensional collagen lattices whereas MMP-9 was activated only in three-dimensional collagen cultures of dermal fibroblasts and weakly in follicular cells. Expression of MMP-1, TIMP-1, TIMP-2 and MT1-MMP was similar in all cells, in both culture conditions, whereas expression of MMP-3 was absent in dermal papilla cells. In addition to a series of reported morphological and functional differences between dermal fibroblasts and the dermal mesenchyme-derived cells of the hair follicle, we reported differences in MMP expression in dermal papilla and fibrous sheath cells within the mesenchymal population of the hair follicle.