Hair follicle to the rescue

Here we explore how prolonged exposure to hydrocortisone effects the epithelial stem cell compartments in the skin.

Body area Skin


Hydrocortisone and other immunomodulatory drugs are commonly used in the clinic for immune suppression. It has been noticed that patients who are on hydrocortisone for a prolonged amount of time start to experience various skin defects. This ranges from dryness, to skin thinning and ulcerations. It is however unclear how this occurs and what cell types and molecular mechanisms are facilitating this effect. Our project is aimed at understanding how stem cells in the different skin compartments change their behaviour upon exposure to hydrocortisone. In addition we are working on identifying the molecular mechanism by which this change occurs in order to develop specific therapies that will block the effect of hydrocortisone on the skin epithelia and greatly improve the quality of life of patients that are undergoing prolonged treatments with immunosuppressive drugs.

reNEW research

reNEW center in Copenhagen. Deputy Director Kim Jensen’s lab. We are in the final stages of this project and are actively writing a manuscript to depict our exciting findings.

Image description

The image depicts two hair follicles in mouse tail with sebaceous glads visible in green. The red cells are labelled cells that we are tracking to understand which compartments of the hair follicle and the surrounding interfollicular epidermis do the cells contribute to during exposure to hydrocortisone


Svetlana Ulyanchenko, Pawel Jan Schweiger, reNEW Copenhagen