Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Celebrating Stem Cells – I Revitalise Your Skin

Stem-cell controlled network of lymphatic capillaries around hair follicles involved in tissue regeneration

16 December 2019

Revitalise Your Skin

Your skin has the natural ability to do what some miracle creams promise: rejuvenate and regenerate. Tiny stores of stem cells – starter cells able to develop into any form of brand new cell – are stashed all over the skin, providing a constant replenishment service. How exactly these cells dictate regeneration isn’t understood, but a new study has identified a molecular management tool used by stem cells to coordinate between the stores. It also revealed that special vessels called lymphatic capillaries form a complex network between the pools of cells, which sit at the base of each hair follicle. Stem cells in the follicles (pictured, after the researchers rendered the skin transparent to view the network) secrete molecules to control the surrounding environment and synchronise growth across the skin – a discovery that could provide a new approach to tackling wound-healing defects and even hair loss.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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