Is the eccrine gland an integral, functionally important component of the human scalp pilosebaceous unit?

Enrique Poblet, Francisco Jimenez-Acosta, Jonathan Hardman, E Escario, Ralf Paus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The pilosebaceous unit (PSU) and the eccrine sweat gland (ESG) are classically described as completely independent skin appendages. However, careful inspection of scalp follicular units reveals that the secretory segment of the ESG spatially approximates the hair follicle in a position below the sebaceous gland and the insertion of the arrector pili muscle. Therefore, we propose here that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the PSU and the ESG should not be viewed in isolation, and may form instead, along with the arrector pili muscle and the apocrine gland (where present),one functional unit. For this, we suggest the more inclusive term of 'Hair Cluster' (HC). If confirmed, e.g. by 3D imaging techniques, the novel concept of a functional HC, whose individual components may communicate via secreted molecules and may share selected progenitor cell populations for HC repair/regeneration, has major physiological and pathological implications, which are briefly discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-150
Number of pages2
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Volume25
Issue number2
Early online date29 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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