The core technology of Dongguk University is to provide a promising method for preparation of a dermal papilla tissue that in vitro culture-expanded ORS and DP cells have biological activity on hair growth.
The mature hair follicle is a small but complex and dynamic organ, and it provides important functions that promote social interactions. Hair follicles develop as a result of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions between epidermal keratinocytes and dermal cells.
The method for the preparation of a dermal papilla tissue in accordance with the present method makes it possible to form a quantity of the dermal papilla tissues having hair follicle inductive ability, and accordingly, it can be effectively used for the treatment of alopecia through cell transplantation.
Background and unmet needs:
In the past, alopecia was typically treated by various methods of implanting synthetic or artificial hair into hair follicle root bulbs of the scalp, but such artificial hair implant methods have been almost always ineffective, often leading to patient health problem and further natural hair follicle loss.
Arase et al. have disclosed that when plunked follicles are cultured in vitro together with isolated dermal papilla cells, the hair follicle cells move toward the dermal papilla and form new hair bulbs (Arase S. et al., Skin Pharmacol. 7(1-2):12-5, 1994), which suggests that the formation and maintenance of the hair follicle are achieved by complex and intimate interactions between the outer root sheath (ORS) cells and dermal papilla cells, and if such interactions are reproduced, it is possible to re-constitute the hair follicle. Further, Kevin et al. have demonstrated that the lower dermal sheath cells encompassing the dermal papilla as well as the dermal papilla cells have the hair follicle inductive ability (Kevin J. et al., J Invest Dermatol. 121: 1267-1275, 2003).
Discovery and Achievements:
The optimized method preparation of a dermal papilla tissue of Dongguk University has been developed on the basis of ideas that development of a secondary culture medium contains 2 to 5-fold higher amino acids and vitamins than the common culture medium.
The secondary culture medium mentioned above, it can overcome the problem of depleted nutrients and oxygen during the culture of dermal papilla and lower dermal sheath cells, improving the differential characteristics of the cells, which results in helping the formation of a dermal papilla tissue.
The dermal papilla auto-aggregate prepared has a size (about 100-200 μm) similar to that of the nature dermal papilla, and shows a strong direct cell-cell interaction because it is prepared by using natural cell contact. Further, histological observations of a section of the aggregate with hematoxylin/eosin indicate that the cells are closely aggregated. In particular, since the aggregate does not require any external stimulation or a matrix for cell adhesion and proliferation, it can be mass produced.