The canine hair cycle - a guide for the assessment of morphological and immunohistochemical criteria

Muntener, T.; Doherr, M.G.; Guscetti, F.; Suter, M.M.; Welle, M.M. (2011). The canine hair cycle - a guide for the assessment of morphological and immunohistochemical criteria. Veterinary dermatology, 22(5), pp. 383-95. Oxford: Blackwell Science 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2011.00963.x

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The hair follicle has a lifelong capacity to cycle through recurrent phases of controlled growth (anagen), regression (catagen) and quiescence (telogen), each associated with specific morphological changes. A comprehensive classification scheme is available for mice to distinguish the cycle stages anagen I-VI, catagen I-VIII and telogen. For dogs, such a classification system does not exist, although alopecia associated with hair cycle arrest is common. We applied analogous morphological criteria and various staining techniques to subdivide the canine hair cycle stages to the same extent as has been done in mice. Of all the staining techniques applied, haematoxylin and eosin stain, Sacpic, Masson Fontana and immunohistochemistry for vimentin and laminin proved to be most useful. To evaluate the applicability of our criteria, we investigated skin biopsies from healthy beagle dogs (n=20; biopsies from shoulder and thigh) kept in controlled conditions. From each biopsy, at least 50 hair follicles were assessed. Statistical analysis revealed that 30% of the follicles were in anagen (12% early and 18% late), 8% in catagen (2% early, 5% late and 1% not determinable) and 27% in telogen. Thirty-five per cent of hair follicles could not be assigned to a specific cycle stage because not all follicles within one biopsy were oriented perfectly. In conclusion, this guide will not only be helpful for the investigation of alopecic disorders and possibly their pathogenesis, but may also serve as a basis for research projects in which the comparison of hair cycle stages is essential, e.g. comparative analysis of gene expression patterns.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > DVK - Clinical Research [discontinued]
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Experimental Clinical Research
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Doherr, Marcus; Suter, Maja and Welle, Monika Maria




Blackwell Science




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:31

Last Modified:

03 Feb 2015 09:01

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 218277)

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