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Involvement of Stem Cells in Hair Cycle, Epidermal Homeostasis, and Skin Tumor Formation
Chung Hsing Chang
Dermatol Sinica 23:12-16,2005

Introduction
The skin is the largest organ in the body. It consists of epidermis derived from ectoderm, and dermis derived from mesoderm. Hair follicle is an ectodermal organ formed by an intimate interaction between ectoderm and mesoderm. The epidermis is constantly renewed throughout life. Its turnover is estimated at about 60 days in humans. Hairs undergo periods of growth (anagen), destruction (catagen), and rest (telogen), and initiate a new round of follicle growth without ending. Both epidermis and hair follicle need an inexhaustible supply of stem cells.
This review covers the progress in 1) identifying epidermal stem cells; 2) their contribution to maintain the epidermal homeostasis and hair cycling; 3) roles of Wnt/beta-catenin and BMP signaling pathways in the lineage determination of pluripotent stem cells; 4) mutant stem cells form skin tumors.

   
   
 
 
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