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Keywords:

  • CD34;
  • hair follicle;
  • pericyte;
  • stem cells;
  • vasculature

Abstract:  In mammalian skin, the existence of stem cells in the dermis is still poorly understood. Previous studies have indicated that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are situated as pericytes in various mammalian tissues. We speculated that the human adult dermis also contains MSC-like cells positive for CD34 at perivascular sites similar to adipose tissue. At first, stromal cells from adult scalp skin tissues showed colony-forming ability and differentiated into mesenchymal lineages (osteogenic, chondrogenic and adipogenic). Three-dimensional analysis of scalp skin with a confocal microscope clearly demonstrated that perivascular cells were positive for not only NG2, but also CD34, immunoreactivity. Perivascular CD34-positive cells were abundant around follicular portions. Furthermore, CD34-positive cell fractions collected with magnetic cell sorting were capable of differentiating into mesenchymal lineages. This study suggests that dermal perivascular sites act as a niche of MSCs in human scalp skin, which are easily accessible and useful in regenerative medicine.