TGF-β2 and collagen play pivotal roles in the spheroid formation and anti-aging of human dermal papilla cells

Hyunju Kim, Nahyun Choi, Doo Yeong Kim, So Yoon Kim, Seung Yong Song, Jong Hyuk Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Dermal papilla cells (DPCs) tend to aggregate both in vitro and in vivo, which increases the hair inductivity of DPCs. However, the underlying mechanism of spheroid formation is unknown. We investigated whether collagen expression in human DPCs (hDPCs) is involved in the spheroid formation and hair inductivity of hDPCs and further examined the underlying molecular mechanism of collagen upregulation. The expression of diverse collagens, such as COL13A1 and COL15A1, was upregulated in three dimensional (3D)-cultured or intact DPCs, compared to 2D-cultured hDPCs. This collagen expression was a downregulated in aged hair follicle, and aged DPCs were difficult to aggregate. Blocking of COL13A1 and COL15A1 by small interfering RNA reduced aggregation, while induced senescence of hDPCs in vitro. Further, transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2) expression decreases with aging, and is involved in regulating the expression of COL13A1 and COL15A1. Addition of recombinant TGF-β2 delayed cellular senescence, and recovered spheroid formation in aged hDPCs by upregulating collagen levels. On the contrary, knock-out of TGF-β2 induced the aging of DPCs, and inhibited spheroid formation. These results suggested that COL13A1 and COL15A1 expression is downregulated with aging in DPCs, and upregulation of collagen by TGF-β2 induces the spheroid formation of DPCs. Therefore, TGF-β2 supplement in DPC culture medium could enhance the maintenance and hair inductivity of DPCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19978-19995
Number of pages18
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 31

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation (grant NRF2020R1A2C101273311) funded by the Korean Government and the Tech Incubator Program for Startup Korea (grant 10388970).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology


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