Page URL:

Mitochondria key to reversing wrinkles and hair loss in mice

30 July 2018
Appeared in BioNews 960

Scientists have found a way to reverse signs of ageing, including wrinkles and hair loss, in mice. 

The mice's mitochondrial DNA had been artificially depleted, to mimic the ordinary loss of this DNA during the ageing process. The loss of mitochondrial DNA is linked to many of the external and internal signs of ageing. As a result, the mice lost much of their fur coats and developed pronounced wrinkles within weeks. But when scientists restored their mitochondrial DNA, the mice's skin once again became smooth and their coats grew back. 

'To our knowledge, this observation is unprecedented,' said authors, led by Professor Keshav Singh from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US, in their paper published in Cell Death & Disease.

The recovery to healthy skin and coat was almost as rapid as the loss of condition had been. After two months of having artificially low levels of mitochondrial DNA, the mice regained their youthful appearance within a month. 

'These experiments show that mitochondria are regulators of skin aging and loss of hair,' the authors write. 

In addition to the visible signs of ageing, depleting the mice's mitochondrial DNA had several other harmful effects. The level of inflammation in the skin rose, with white blood cell presence boosted around the damaged and ailing skin cells and hair follicles. This inflammation decreased again when mitochondrial DNA was restored. 

Other organs showed less dramatic changes, with an overall reduction in cell size the most consistent observation. The researchers now plan to test whether these shrunken cells can also be boosted back to normal size by reversing mitochondrial DNA depletion.

'This mouse model should provide an unprecedented opportunity for the development of preventive and therapeutic drug development strategies to augment the mitochondrial functions for the treatment of aging-associated skin and hair pathology and other human diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction plays a significant role,' the authors concluded.

Reversing wrinkled skin and hair loss in mice by restoring mitochondrial function
Cell Death and Disease |  20 July 2018
Scientists find 'unprecedented' reversal of wrinkles and hair loss
Newsweek |  22 July 2018
Wrinkles and hair loss reversed in mice
Medical News Today |  24 July 2018
Wrinkles and Hair Loss Reversed through Mitochondrial Restoration
Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News |  23 July 2018
30 March 2020 - by Dr Molly Godfrey 
Researchers have returned stem cells from older donors to a more youthful biological state...
3 December 2018 - by Jen Willows 
A new paper documents three unrelated families where paternal mitochondrial DNA is present in offspring...
16 July 2018 - by Dr Alexander Ware 
Researchers have successfully used genome editing to reduce blood cholesterol in living monkeys...
9 July 2018 - by Dr Barbara Kramarz 
A total of 15 genetic loci linked to loneliness have been discovered in a new study, as well as an association between obesity and a person's risk of loneliness and depression...
9 July 2018 - by Dr Lanay Griessner 
Injecting stem cell-derived cardiac cells after a heart attack may help repair damaged tissue, according to a study published in Nature Biotechnology...
to add a Comment.

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

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.