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Efficient delivery of transgenes to human hair follicle progenitor cells using topical lipoplex

Nature Biotechnology volume 18, pages 420423 (2000) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The topical delivery of transgenes to hair follicles has potential for treating disorders of the skin and hair. Here we show that the topical administration of liposome-DNA mixtures (lipoplex) to mouse skin and to human skin xenografts resulted in efficient in vivo transfection of hair follicle cells. Transfection depended on liposome composition, and occurred only at the onset of a new growing stage of the hair cycle. Manipulating the hair follicle cycle with depilation and retinoic acid treatment resulted in nearly 50% transfection efficiency–defined as the proportion of transfected, newly growing follicles within the xenograft. Transgenes administered in this fashion are selectively expressed in hair progenitor cells and therefore have the potential to affect the characteristics of the follicle. These findings form a foundation for the future use of topical lipoplex applications to alter hair follicle phenotype and treat diseases of the hair and skin.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. Leaf Huang for valuable discussions and Ms. Dorothy Campbell for excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by grants from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

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  1. Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104

    • Alevtina Domashenko
    • , Sonya Gupta
    •  & George Cotsarelis

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Correspondence to George Cotsarelis.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/74480

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