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Hair Loss

New Research Identifies Hair Follicle Dermal Stem Cells as Playing a Role in Hair Growth

December 18th, 2014

Scientists have known that dermal papilla (DP) cells trigger hair follicle regeneration, a mechanism that protects hair follicles against injury, disease and aging. They have also known that hair loss is associated with the gradual depletion and atrophy of DP cells. But what they did not know is how DP cells were maintained inside healthy hair follicles.

New research has shown that the hair follicle dermal stem cell plays a direct role in maintaining these hair growth inducing DP cells.1

This discovery sets the stage for the development of new drugs designed to target these dermal stem cells in order to “replenish or rejuvenate the DP cells that are responsible for inducing hair growth,” says Jeff Biernaskie, PhD, one of the researchers.

Such drugs could be useful for repairing hair follicles damaged by disease or injury, or by medical treatments, specifically chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. The development of such drugs, however, could be at least a decade or more out.

  1. Rahmani W., Abbasi S., Hagner A., Raharjo E., Kumar R., Hotta A., Magness S., Metzger D., Biernaskie J. (2014), Hair follicle dermal stem cells regenerate the dermal sheath, repopulate the dermal papilla, and modulate hair type. Dev Cell, Dec 8;31(50:543-58). []

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