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Hair Restoration Research

Study Identifies A Possible Cause of Age-Induced Hair Loss

We have known for decades that the incidence of male pattern baldness increases with age. New research published in the February 2016 edition of the journal Science has shed light on why this is the case. Researchers examining the role of hair follicle stem cells (HFSC) in the hair growth cycle have found that accumulated DNA damage in these cells results in the depletion of a key signaling protein and the progressive miniaturization of the hair follicle (and eventual hair loss). The study represents a breakthrough in our understanding of the cell aging process and could open new pathways for the treatment of not only hair loss, but other age-related conditions as well.

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Hair Restoration Research

Hair Cloning Breakthrough with “Mass Production” of Epithelial Stem Cells

Progress towards hair cloning may have just have shifted up another gear thanks to scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The breakthrough study published January 28th, 2014 is the first to show the successful transformation of adult human skin cells into quantities of epithelial stem cells necessary for hair regeneration.

The researchers, led by Dr. Xiaowei “George” Xu, started with human skin cells called dermal fibroblasts, then transformed those into a type of stem cell called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These were then transformed into epithelial stem cells (EpSCs). This important step had never been achieved before in either humans or mice. The epithelial stem cells were combined with mouse dermal cells, that can be induced to form hair follicles, and then grafted on a mouse host. The epithelial cells and dermal cells then grew to form a functional human epidermis and follicles structurally similar to human hair follicles. The exhibits that accompany the study include photographic evidence of human hairs.

Yang R, et al. 2014

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Hair Restoration Research

Japanese Researchers Bioengineer Hair Follicles from Stem Cells, Dermal Papillae

Japanese researchers have demonstrated that scientists can bioengineer viable, hair-producing follicles from epithelial stem cells and dermal papilla cells. Using these components, the team produced follicles that exhibit both the normal hair cycle and piloerection (the reflex contraction of a tiny muscle in the hair follicles which creates what is commonly referred to as “goose bumps”). The bioengineered follicles also developed the normal structures found within follicles and formed natural connections with skin tissues, muscle cells, and nerve cells.

Toyoshima K, et al. 2012

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Hair Restoration Research

RepliCel Hair Cloning Research Leads To Patents, Trials In Humans

RepliCel Life Sciences; a company based in Vancouver, Canada; is investigating hair cloning techniques in order to develop a treatment for androgenetic alopecia, or common genetic hair loss.

Research conducted by the company’s scientific founders and lead scientists, Drs. Kevin McElwee and Rolf Hoffmann, has shown that a certain type of cell, called a dermal sheath cup cell, is integral in initiating the growth of mature hair follicles. This mechanism of follicle growth, when coupled with previous research on dermal papillae cells, is key to our understanding of hair loss and is a potential avenue for developing a treatment that could reverse hair loss.

RepliCel. 2012
McElwee KJ, et al. 2003

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Bernstein Medical In The News

Fat Cell Discovery An “Important Step” In Understanding Hair Loss

In what might be another illuminating discovery on the inner-workings of hair growth, Yale University scientists have discovered that cells from the fat layer in the skin of mice contribute to the stimulation of hair follicles.

Dr. Bernstein, who was interviewed for the ABC News article, called the findings, “An interesting development in understanding why millions of people go bald.”

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Hair Restoration Research

Hair Loss Cure A Possible Result Of Stem Cell Communication Research

Following some new research on stem cells, and their relationship with androgenetic alopecia (genetic hair loss), an article on stem cells and the way they organize hair growth was published in the April 29th issue of the journal Science. At issue is the way in which large numbers of stem cells coordinate the cycle of hair growth over thousands of hair follicles. How do all of those hair follicle stem cells know when to grow hair, and how do they know what their “neighbor” hair follicles are doing?

Chuong C, et al. 2011

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Hair Restoration Research

Research Points to Decreased “Progenitor” Stem Cells as Cause of Male Pattern Baldness

Research published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation (Vol. 121, issue 1) reveals another breakthrough in the medical community’s understanding of the causes of — and possible cure for — androgenetic alopecia, or common male pattern baldness. The new research shows that the presence of a certain type of cell, called a progenitor cell, is significantly reduced in men with common baldness compared to men who are not bald. Read on for more details on this breakthrough.

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Hair Restoration Research

New Strategies for Tissue Regeneration

Two new avenues of scientific research, discussed in an article in the New York Times, might just help enable human beings to regenerate tissue. If we could tap into this capability, the possibilities for medical treatment are limitless. We could regrow an arm, a leg, a hand, repair a heart after a heart attack, or even regrow hair.

It is not a stretch to assume that if scientists can undo the inability of animals to grow heart muscle or limbs, we might someday be able to genetically reverse the inability of a bald person to grow hair.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Is Lgr5 Gene Discovery a Hair Cloning Breakthrough?

Q: I heard about the Lgr5 gene being a breakthrough in hair cloning. What’s the latest on that?

A: Many scientists feel that adult stem cells house the answer to cloning (regeneration) of hair follicles. One of the problems of hair cloning, however, is that the cells, once duplicated, “forget” that they are hair follicle cells.

It has recently been discovered that the Lgr5 gene, located in stem cells, appears to contain the “global marker” present in all adult hair follicles. If Lgr5 gene is the “calling card” of the cell, it may carry the cell lineage and shoulder the responsibility of signaling to surrounding stem cells what they are actually supposed to do as they multiply.

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Hair Restoration Research

Hair Cloning Shows Promise in New Stem Cell Study

A new study, using hair cloning therapy to regrow hair, shows promise for all individuals suffering from alopecia areata. The study — conducted by Marwa Fawzi, a dermatologist at the University of Cairo Faculty of Medicine, and reported on Bloomberg.com — used stem cells from the scalps of eight children with alopecia areata to regenerate their own hair.

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Hair Restoration Research

Summary: Biologists Make Skin Cells Work Like Stem Cells

A major advance in regenerative medicine has recently been announced. A new technique, which can convert adult skin cells into embryonic form, has been successfully performed on interbred mice by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University. The technique, if adaptable to human cells could allow new heart, liver, or kidney cells to be regenerated from simple skin cells. This tissue could potentially replace organ tissue that has been damaged due to disease. As this tissue would be formed from the patient’s own skin cells, it would not be subject to rejection by the patient’s immune system.

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Hair Restoration Research

Skin Cells Substitute for Embryonic Stem Cells in Cloning Research

The advantage of using embryonic stem cells in cloning research, organ transplantation, and in finding cures for disease, is that these cells are basically “unprogrammed.” This means that the stem cell has not yet determined what it will grow to become so, in theory at least, scientists can manipulate them into becoming anything that they are programmed to be.

Two teams of scientists working independently announced that they had successfully replicated the biological abilities of the embryonic stem cell using only skin cells.

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Hair Restoration Research

Summary: Hair Follicle Regeneration in Adult Mouse Skin After Wounding

This study demonstrates that after wounding the skin of an adult mouse, an embryonic-like change in the epidermal cells outside of the hair follicle stem cells can be induced to form new hair follicle stem cells. In other words, these cells originate from epidermal skin cells in the wound, but then are able take on the characteristics of hair follicle stem cells and actually produce hair.

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Hair Restoration Answers

How Are Hair Cloning, Hair Multiplication, and Follicular Neogeneis Different?

Q: What is the difference between hair cloning, hair multiplication, and follicular neogeneis? I have read about these terms on the internet and am completely confused.

A: Cloning generally refers to the multiplication of fetal stem cells or embryonic tissues. “Hair cloning”, as the term is generally used, involves the multiplication of adult tissue cells that are used to induce the formation of new hair, so the term is not exactly accurate.

“Hair multiplication” refers to the multiplication of adult hair structures. This model is not actively being pursued since the hair follicle is too complex to be simply cultured in a tube. Instead individual cells called fibroblasts are removed from the scalp multiplied in tissue culture and then these are injected back into the scalp in the hope that they will induce intact follicles to form.

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