Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook


 


 

No more empty pates: stem cell therapy for baldness

02 February 2015

By Ana Ilic

Appeared in BioNews 788

Stem cells have been used to induce human hair growth in mice in a US study. The researchers say their work could represent the first step in creating a cell-based treatment for male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, which affects almost half of all men by the age of 50.

'We have developed a method using human pluripotent stem cells to create new cells capable of initiating human hair growth,' said Dr Alexey Terskikh from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in California, who led the study.

In fact, the method developed relies on human embryonic stem cells, a fact which may limit its clinical utility.

Current methods for treating baldness involve transplanting existing hairs from one area of the head, or body, to the balding part. They are therefore limited by the availability of the patient's existing hair follicles. But, Dr Tersikh points out, the new method could 'provide an unlimited source of cells from the patient for transplantation'.

Using human embryonic stem cells, which can differentiate to form any cell in the body, the researchers first generated dermal papilla cells. These specialised cells are crucial in regulating hair follicle growth and development.

The team injected the lab-grown cells under the skin of hairless mice. When injected, the dermal papillae activated the existing hair follicles in the mice and induced 'robust' hair growth.

In the past, scientists attempted to culture dermal papilla cells but the cells ability to induce follicle growth was weakened by amplification. By using stem cells to create new dermal papilla cells, this problem was bypassed.

Dr Terskikh said that the next step for the research would be 'to transplant human dermal papilla cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells back into human subjects'.

The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

15 May 2017 - by Annabel Slater 
Scientists have shown how a gene and protein cause greying and hair loss in mice...
20 February 2017 - by Emma Laycock 
A new study has found over 280 genes associated with male-pattern baldness...
07 March 2016 - by Helen Robertson 
Research has identified a genetic variant involved in causing grey hair during the ageing process...

23 April 2012 - by Dr Greg Ball 
Functioning hair follicles have been grown in hairless mice by researchers in Japan, offering hope of a future treatment for baldness and alopecia in humans. The study is the first to report creating viable hair follicles using human cells, according to Nature News....
26 March 2012 - by Dr Zara Mahmoud 
New treatments for male pattern baldness could be on the way, as scientists identify a protein they believe inhibits growth of hair follicles...
05 September 2011 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
Fat cells may hold the key to triggering hair growth, US researchers have found. They discovered that a layer of fat cells under the skin of mice sends chemical messages to stem cells, instructing them to grow hair...
19 April 2010 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas 
A genetic mutation associated with childhood hereditary baldness has been identified by an US-led study. Researchers discovered a mutation in the APCDD1 gene was common to three families of Italian or Pakistani origin, who were affected by hereditary hypotrichosis simplex (HSS). This disease results in the shrinking of hair follicles and thinning of the hair...

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Andy Greenfield

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Henry Malter

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross

Sandy Starr


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation