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- Fibroblast heterogeneity: more than skin deep

Fibroblast heterogeneity: more than skin deep

J. Michael Sorrell* and Arnold I. Caplan

Skeletal Research Center, Biology Department, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

* Author for correspondence (e-mail: [email protected] )


Dermal fibroblasts are a dynamic and diverse population of cellswhose functions in skin in many respects remain unknown. Normaladult human skin contains at least three distinct subpopulationsof fibroblasts, which occupy unique niches in the dermis. Fibroblastsfrom each of these niches exhibit distinctive differences whencultured separately. Specific differences in fibroblast physiologyare evident in papillary dermal fibroblasts, which reside inthe superficial dermis, and reticular fibroblasts, which residein the deep dermis. Both of these subpopulations of fibroblastsdiffer from the fibroblasts that are associated with hair follicles.Fibroblasts engage in fibroblast-epidermal interactions duringhair development and in interfollicular regions of skin. Theyalso play an important role in cutaneous wound repair and anever-increasing role in bioengineering of skin. Bioengineeredskin currently performs important roles in providing (1) a basicunderstanding of skin biology, (2) a vehicle for testing topicallyapplied products and (3) a resource for skin replacement.

Key words: Skin, Fibroblasts, Skin equivalents

Source: Journal of Cell Science 117, 667-675 (2004)

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