Multiple potential roles of thymosin β4 in the growth and development of hair follicles.

Affiliation

Dai B(#)(1)(2), Sha RN(#)(1)(3), Yuan JL(1)(4), Liu DJ(1).
Author information:
(1)Key Laboratory of Reproductive Regulation and Breeding of Grassland Livestock, School of Life Sciences, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, China.
(2)Reproductive Medicine Center, The Affiliated Hospital of Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot, China.
(3)Pathology department, The Affiliated Hospital of Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot, China.
(4)Clinical laboratory, The Affiliated Hospital of Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot, China.
(#)Contributed equally

Abstract

The hair follicle (HF) is an important mini-organ of the skin, composed of many types of cells. Dermal papilla cells are important signalling components that guide the proliferation, upward migration and differentiation of HF stem cell progenitor cells to form other types of HF cells. Thymosin β4 (Tβ4), a major actin-sequestering protein, is involved in various cellular responses and has recently been shown to play key roles in HF growth and development. Endogenous Tβ4 can activate the mouse HF cycle transition and affect HF growth and development by promoting the migration and differentiation of HF stem cells and their progeny. In addition, exogenous Tβ4 increases the rate of hair growth in mice and promotes cashmere production by increasing the number of secondary HFs (hair follicles) in cashmere goats. However, the molecular mechanisms through which Tβ4 promotes HF growth and development have rarely been reported. Herein, we review the functions and mechanisms of Tβ4 in HF growth and development and describe the endogenous and exogenous actions of Tβ4 in HFs to provide insights into the roles of Tβ4 in HF growth and development.