Baldness may be ended with discovery of new hair cell growth mechanism


For decades television, magazine and newspaper advertisements have offered millions of men and some women cures for Alopecia and other forms of baldness. According to a UC San Francisco research study, an immune cell generally associated with controlling inflammation, directly trigger stem cells in the skin to promote healthy hair growth.

Millions of men have paid top dollar for hair replacement treatments and women suffering for alopecia areata, a common autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss, have used costly wigs and other hair wraps to disguise their disappearing hair. But the new study concludes that Since the same stem cells are responsible for helping heal the skin after injury, the study raises the possibility that these cells could potentially play a role in forms of baldness, including male pattern baldness.

Imagine the feeling of men who have experienced severe disappearing hairlines in their early twenties being able to stop or even reverse hair loss. Women who have spent decades measuring their attractiveness against their peers, may no longer have to hide their hair behind a wall of insecurity.
The study’s researchers discovered that through experimentation on mice, they realized that regulatory T cells (Tregs; pronounced “tee-regs”), which is a type of immune cell generally associated with controlling inflammation, directly triggers stem cells in the skin to promote healthy hair growth. If these T cells are not present then the body’s stem cells cannot possibly regenerate a person’s hair follicles. The result is baldness.

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Yet this discovery is half the battle. The solution to preventing hair loss and promoting consistent hair growth needed to be found.

According to Professor Michael Rosenblum, MD, PhD who is an assistant professor of dermatology at UCSF and senior author on the new study indicated, to find a solution to promoting hair growth and the role T cells play, researchers developed a method for temporarily removing Tregs from the skin. When they shaved patches of hair from the test mice to make observations of the affected skin, they surprisingly discovered, “We quickly noticed that the shaved patches of hair never grew back,” reported UCSF.

Since hair follicles are constantly recycling, when a person’s hair falls out, a portion of the hair follicle has to grow back. The method to promote hair follicle restoration was the next step. The answer for millions of hair loss sufferers was attached to a cell growth mechanism.

The research found that Tregs trigger stem cell activation directly through a common cell-cell communication system known as the Notch pathway. Tregs in the skin express unusually high levels of a Notch signaling protein called Jagged 1 (Jag1), After scientists removed Tregs from the skin, this action significantly reduced Notch signaling in follicle stem cells. Next, they replaced Tregs with microscopic beads covered in Jag1 protein, which restored Notch signaling in the stem cells and successfully activated follicle regeneration.

This new scientific breakthrough may be the hair regrowth medicinal gem that may put an end to male pattern baldness, Alopecia issues and restore the confidence and sense of self- worth associated with a full hair of hair.