Saturday, 29 July 2017

Male Baldness and Stem Cell Inactivation

One of the most talked-about issues focused on men in general is hair loss or male pattern baldness. Today, it is widely known that majority of men experience this condition at a certain point in their lives.


With the amount of uproar this issue has been generating over the years, surprisingly little is still known about hair loss at a cellular level.


In a current study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation led by Dr. George Cotsarelis, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, it has been found that stem cells play a surprising role in male pattern baldness.


Dr. Cotsarelis and his team have been conducting a study on the link between the quality of stem cells and its effect on hair loss. For their research, they have been using cell samples from men who had undergone hair transplant. The team compared these cells from the bald scalp and non-bald scalp of the same person, and found a surprising result: the bald areas had the same number of stem cells as the normal scalp. Nonetheless, they did find that another, more mature type of cell called a progenitor was noticeably depleted in the follicles of the bald scalp.


With that, the researchers concluded that the problem of baldness lies in the stem cell inactivation rather than in the number of stem cells in the hair follicles.


In most cases of male pattern hair loss, the numbers of hair follicles are not reduced, rather they are shrinking. This implies that these follicles are still present in the scalp and that there might be a way to reactivate them. As Dr. Cotsarelis stated, ‘The fact that there are normal numbers of stem cells in the bald scalp gives us hope for reactivating those stem cells’. Though, at this point, there is still no detailed information available regarding the causes of these changes in the cells.


In another study in the year 2007, Cotsarelis’ team conducted a research and found out that the hair follicles in adult mice regenerate by re-awakening genes once active only in developing embryos. The team determined that wound healing in a mouse model created an ‘embryonic window’ of opportunity to influence the number of new hair follicles that form. However, up to now the researchers have been working only with mice and a lot of work must be done before they can try this on a human subject.


According to the team, their next steps will be to study the stem and progenitor population in other forms of hair loss, including female pattern baldness. They will also focus on identifying factors that might be useful in converting stem cells to progenitor cells, hence generating normal large hairs. This information may aid in developing a treatment for male pattern baldness.Kaitlyn Paige


Kaitlyn Paige is an online blogger who spent the last three years of her life looking for the right treatment which can help prevent further hair loss at the same time encourage healthier hair regrowth. Through her quest for the right hair loss treatment, she is able to give detailed and relevant reviews on the most common hair loss products available in the market.Latest posts by Kaitlyn Paige (see all)