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The induction of hair follicle formation in the adult hooded rat by vibrissa dermal papillae
R. F. Oliver


Hair follicles are essentially composed of two tissues. The inner epidermal component, which gives rise to, among other products, the keratinized hair shaft, is confluent with the surface epidermis and is ensheathed by the dermal component which is confluent with the pars papillaris of the dermis.

A specialization of the dermal component is the dermal papilla which, in follicles producing hair, is enclosed by the epidermal matrix of the hair bulb and is connected to the dermal sheath by the papilla stalk.

Many authorities have considered that the dermal papilla is an essential component of the hair follicle (reviews: Cohen, 1965; Oliver, 1969). It has been suggested that the dermal papilla may be involved in both the induction of follicle lengthening and hair growth during the proanagen phase (Chase, 1965) of the hair cycle, a concept now justified by direct experimentation in the vibrissa follicle at least (Oliver, 1967b), and perhaps also in determining the nature of the hair produced by a follicle.


    • Received March 31, 1969.