, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 621–628 | Cite as

Culture and characterization of rat hair follicle stem cells

  • Renfu QuanEmail author
  • Xuan Zheng
  • Yueming NiEmail author
  • Shangju Xie
  • Changming Li
Original Research


The purpose of this study was to establish methods for isolation, culture, expansion, and characterization of rat hair follicle stem cells (rHFSCs). Hair follicles were harvested from 1-week-old Sprague–Dawley rats and digested with dispase and collagenase IV. The bulge of the hair follicle was dissected under a microscope and cultured in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium/F12 supplemented with KnockOut™ Serum Replacement serum substitute, penicillin–streptomycin, l-glutamine, non-essential amino acids, epidermal growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, polyhydric alcohol, and hydrocortisone. The rHFSCs were purified using adhesion to collagen IV. Cells were characterized by detecting marker genes with immunofluorescent staining and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The proliferation and vitality of rHFSCs at different passages were evaluated. The cultured rHFSCs showed typical cobblestone morphology with good adhesion and colony-forming ability. Expression of keratin 15, integrin α6, and integrin β1 were shown by immunocytochemistry staining. On day 1–2, the cells were in the latent phase. On day 5–6, the cells were in the logarithmic phase. Cell vitality gradually decreased from the 7th passage. Real-time PCR showed that the purified rHFSCs had good vitality and proliferative capacity and contained no keratinocytes. Highly purified rHFSCs can be obtained using tissue culture and adhesion to collagen IV. The cultured cells had good proliferative capacity and could therefore be a useful cell source for tissue-engineered hair follicles, vessels, and skin.


Hair follicle stem cell Q-PCR analysis Immunocytochemistry Wound healing Regeneration 



This study was supported by the Social Welfare and Technology Development program, Department of Science and Technology of Zhejiang Province (2010C33133).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute of OrthopedicsXiaoshan Traditional Chinese Medical HospitalHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Research Institute of OrthopedicsZhejiang Chinese Medical UniversityHangzhouChina

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