22 October 2022

The bald ones were reassured again

In Japan, full-fledged hair follicles were grown from stem cells


For the first time, Japanese molecular biologists have successfully used stem cells to grow full-fledged hair follicles capable of producing hair with natural coloring. This technology will serve as the basis for the creation of methods of hair regeneration, the press service of the National University of Yokohama reported on Friday.

"Our next step is to repeat this process using cell cultures of human origin. This is critically important for the creation of new medicines for hair, the development of platforms for testing them and the creation of new approaches for regenerative medicine," said Junji Fukuda, professor at the National University of Yokohama (Japan), whose words are quoted by the press service of the university.

Over the past 20 years, molecular biologists have discovered several mechanisms that make it possible to transform stem cell cultures into "adult" tissues of bones, muscles, skin and the nervous system. In the future, they can be used as a kind of spare parts in the event of serious injuries in humans or various degenerative diseases.

Professor Fukuda and his colleagues used stem cells to create the first full-fledged man-made hair follicles capable of producing colored hair. Scientists made this discovery during experiments with cultures of so-called mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC), which were extracted by biologists from the body of mice.

The path to hair regeneration

These corpuscles are "adult" stem cells present in small quantities in all mammalian organs and have retained the ability to transform into many types of tissues. These cells, as scientists note, form a special environment around themselves, including a biopolymer framework of protein strands that promote the reproduction and spread of stem cells.

Japanese biologists have recently discovered that these corpuscles can be turned into a kind of "embryos" of hair follicles, which can be transplanted into the skin of rodents and forced to produce hair. The researchers followed in detail how the structure and environment changed after implantation of table cell cultures, which allowed them to reproduce the process of forming full-fledged hair follicles in an artificial nutrient medium.

In particular, scientists have found that this requires two key components – molecules of the FGF2 signaling substance that stimulates the growth of skin cells and connective tissue, as well as a protein gel that mimics the properties of a biopolymer framework of protein filaments produced by MSC cells inside human and mammalian body tissues.

With such treatment, according to the researchers, virtually all 100% of the "embryos" of hair follicles successfully turn into full-fledged follicles and begin to produce hair dyed in natural color. Further experiments with these substances and cellular structures, as Professor Fukuda and his colleagues hope, will lead to the creation of approaches that allow regenerating lost hair.

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