Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Research Article

VII.—The Anatomy of Follicles Producing Wool-Fibres, with special reference to Keratinization

L. Aubera1

a1 Biology Department, Wool Industries Research Association.


The mammalian hair-fibre, together with the “inner root-sheath” (i.e. the axial layers of the follicle wall), grows upward by a proximal addition of cells. Changes in the inner root-sheath are responsible for the final shape and surface sculpture of the fibre. At its distal limit the inner root-sheath disintegrates owing to the effect of a de-keratinizing chemical agent.

A bent, undulated, or “crimped” fibre is due to a differentiated progress of the changes leading to keratinization of the “fibre cortex”. The cells which give rise to a “medulla” are different chemically and less compressible than cortical cells.

(Received September 11 1948)

(Revised November 30 1950)