Hair follicle morphogenesis and regeneration occur by an extensive and collaborative crosstalk between epithelial and mesenchymal skin components. A series of pioneering studies, which revealed an indispensable role of follicular dermal papilla and dermal sheath cells in this crosstalk, has led workers in the field to study in detail the anatomical distribution, functional properties, and molecular signature of the trichogenic dermal cells. The purpose of this paper was to provide a practical summary of the development and recent advances in the study of trichogenic dermal cells. Following a short review of the relevant literature, the methods for isolating and culturing these cells are summarized. Next, the bioassays, both in vivo and in vitro, that enable the evaluation of trichogenic properties of tested dermal cells are described in detail. A list of trichogenic molecular markers identified by those assays is also provided. Finally, this methods review is completed by defining some of the major questions needing resolution.
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