Hair in health and disease: an introduction

  • Taneeta Ganguly
  • Pratima Karnik
Part of the Human Health Handbooks no. 1 book series (HHH, volume 1)

Abstract

The hair follicle is a sensing, reactive, dynamic and complex skin appendage that offers many essential functions and requires a specific molecular environment to remain fully functional. Apart from providing an insulating layer in animals, hair serves as an aid in camouflage for survival and provides sensory, tactile information about the environment. Hair may also be of importance in attracting mates by offering insight into an individual’s health and vitality through its color, distribution, or quality. Hair follicles are formed from epidermal-dermal interactions and modeling during the first trimester in humans. Hair growth is a unique and complex process that involves continuous cycles of growth, resorption, rest and renewal. The hair follicle is constantly exposed to the environment and suffers direct damage from the sun, the air, and water. Exposure to foreign chemicals may also cause damage to the hair shaft and follicle. There are numerous hair diseases and the hair follicle is involved in over a thousand systemic diseases including genetic disorders. The social function of hair is the foundation for a multibillion dollar industry focused on presenting, augmenting, preserving, or removing hair.

Keywords

hair biology stem cells pigmentation hair loss psychosocial 

Abbreviations

BMP-1

Bone morphogenetic protein 1

BMP-2

Bone morphogenetic protein 2

BMP-4

Bone morphogenetic protein 4

BMPR-1A

Bone morphogenetic protein receptor type IA

CK1

Casein kinase 1

CK5

Casein kinase 5

CK10

Casein kinase 10

CK14

Casein kinase 14

CK15

Casein kinase 15

CK19

Casein kinase 19

Cutl1

Cut-like homeobox 1

DHT

Dihydrotestosterone

DNA

Desoxyribonucleic acid

E-cadherin

Epithelial cadherin

Eda

Ectodysplasin A

Edar

Ectodysplasin A receptor

EGFR

Epidermal growth factor receptor

Foxn1

Forkhead box N1

Gli1

Glioma-associated oncogene family zinc finger 1

HGF

Hepatocyte growth factor

Hoxc13

Homeobox c13

k15

Keratin 15

KGF

Keratinocyte growth factor

lacZ

Encoding β-galactosidase

Lef-1

Lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1

LGR5

Leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptor 5

LHX2

LIM homeobox 2

Msx-2

Melanocyte stimulating hormone homeobox 2

NCAM

Neural cell adhesion molecule

PDGFA

Platelet-derived growth factor α polypeptide

NFATc1

Nuclear factor of activated T-cells cytoplasmic, calcineurin-dependent 1

PPARγ

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor

Ptc-1

Patched homolog 1

SCF

Stem cell factor

Shh

Sonic the hedgehog

SOX9

Sex determining region Y-box 9

Tcf-3

Transcription factor 3

TGF-βR-11

Transforming growth factor beta receptor 11

Wnt-5a

Wingless-type MMTV integration site family member 5a

Wnt10b

Wingless-type MMTV integration site family member 10B

Notes

Acknowledgments

The writing of this chapter was made possible in part by a grant from the North American Hair Research Society (NAHRS) to TG and an NIH NIAMS grant R01 AR056245 to PK.

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Copyright information

© Wageningen Academic Publishers 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taneeta Ganguly
    • 1
  • Pratima Karnik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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