Hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) were isolated from whisker follicles of 8-week-old male Wistar rats. Cell morphology is similar to bone marrow-derived mesenchyme stem cells (MSCs). Cells are highly proliferative and have increased telomerase activity. Cells can differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes, chondrocytes, and myocytes and express markers specific to neuroprogenitor cells.
Whisker follicles were minced and dissociated for 20 minutes in a solution of trypsin (0.25%) containing Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Cells were grown in minimal essential medium (MEM) supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS, 15%), penicillin (100 U/ml) and streptomycin (100 g/ml).