Yale scientists find stem cells that tell hair it's time to grow

Sep 01, 2011

Yale researchers have discovered the source of signals that trigger hair growth, an insight that may lead to new treatments for baldness.

The researchers identified stem cells within the skin's fatty layer and showed that from these cells were necessary to spur in , according to research published in the Sept. 2 issue of the journal Cell.

"If we can get these in the skin to talk to the dormant stem cells at the base of hair follicles, we might be able to get hair to grow again," said Valerie Horsley, assistant professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology and senior author of the paper.

Men with male pattern baldness still have stem cells in follicle roots but these stem cells lose the ability to jump-start hair regeneration. Scientists have known that these follicle stem cells need signals from within the skin to grow hair, but the source of those signals has been unclear.

Horsley's team observed that when hair dies, the layer of fat in the scalp that comprises most of the skin's thickness shrinks. When hair growth begins, the fat layer expands in a process called adipogenesis. Researchers found that a type of stem cell involved in creation of new fat cells — adipose precursor cells — was required for hair regeneration in mice. They also found these cells produce molecules called PDGF (platelet derived growth factors), which are necessary to produce hair growth.

Horsley's lab is trying to identify other signals produced by adipose precursor that may play a role in regulating hair growth. She also wants to know whether these same signals are required for human hair growth. Other authors from Yale are lead author Eric Festa, Jackie Fretz, Ryan Berry, Barbara Schmidt, Matthew Rodeheffer and Mark Horowitz.

Explore further: How calcium regulates mitochondrial carrier proteins

Related Stories

Rat hair cells found to be true stem cells

Oct 04, 2005

Cells inside hair follicles are stem cells able to develop into the cell types needed for hair growth and follicle replacement, Swiss researchers claim.

New properties of skin stem cells

Oct 14, 2008

Recent research from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet reveals completely new properties of the skin's stem cells – discoveries that contradict previous findings. The studies, which are published in Nature Ge ...

New research provides clues on why hair turns gray

Jun 14, 2011

A new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center has shown that, for the first time, Wnt signaling, already known to control many biological processes, between hair follicles and melanocyte stem cells can dictate ...

Recommended for you

How calcium regulates mitochondrial carrier proteins

16 hours ago

Mitochondrial carriers are a family of proteins that play the key role of transporting a chemically diverse range of molecules across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Mitochondrial aspartate/glutamate carriers are part of ...

Team conducts unprecedented analysis of microbial ecosystem

18 hours ago

An international team of scientists from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) have completed a first-of-its-kind microbial analysis of a biological ...

Students create microbe to weaken superbug

Nov 25, 2014

A team of undergraduate students from the University of Waterloo have designed a synthetic organism that may one day help doctors treat MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant superbug.

User comments : 8

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

hush1
not rated yet Sep 01, 2011
Reverse engineering the source signal means no more barber or hair salons. No shaving either. Brave new world.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Sep 01, 2011
I wish I lived 100 years from now... I wouldn't have thinning hair!
jselin
not rated yet Sep 01, 2011
Yay!
fuviss_co_uk
not rated yet Sep 01, 2011
I wish I lived 100 years from now... I wouldn't have thinning hair!


why 100 ? in 5-10 years you probably won't have this problem
SteveL
not rated yet Sep 01, 2011
For those of us tired of watching the race between our hair going grey and going away - we salute you!
Sin_Amos
not rated yet Sep 01, 2011
As someone that has a full head of hair and no chance of balding or receding, I feel for you all. Hair truly puts you above the rest in terms of mating potential. But, then again, bald dads do produce females that love the baldies, so you guys shouldn't fret so much. Being bald can be a winner. My cousin has been bald since his teens and his head has never looked better.
juniorbacochee
not rated yet Sep 02, 2011
Oh man. If you guys can regrow my hair I will throw you all the most awesome party at some place really cool. I would be so happy to grow my hair back. How long until they can stimulate the stem cell to regrow the hair and get it past the FDA? I won't be really bald for another 7-10 years. I hope they can get it working soon!
Ramael
1 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2011
Can you make hair grow faster? Bangs by Tuesday Please!
*batters eyelashes*

lmao

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.