An Effective Cure for Baldness May Soon Be On the Market
by Christine Hsu
baldness may be triggered by a protein in the scalp that stops hairs
from growing, according to a new study, raising the possibility
that drugs that are currently being tested to block the protein
might also prevent the most common cause of hair loss in men.
The study is
likely to lead to new hair growth products based on prostaglandin
biology, Anthony Oro, an epithelial biologist at Stanford
University, who was not involved in the study told Nature.
baldness, which causes hair follicles to shrink and produce microscopic
hairs that grow for a shorten time than normal hairs, affects 80
percent of men at some point in their lives, and currently
found three times greater amounts of a lipid compound called prostaglandin
D2 (PGD2) in the bald scalps of men with male pattern baldness compared
to the haired scalp portions, and when the PGD2 protein was added
to cultured hair follicles, the hair grew significantly shorter
while the PGD2's derivative, 15-dPGJ2, completely stopped hair growth.
on cultured human follicles, investigators also found that follicles
began decreasing and hair growth was inhibited when PGD2 expression
peaks in mice, and PGD2-treated mice also had hair growth inhibited.
a different prostaglandin was known to increase hair growth, our
findings were unexpected, as prostaglandins haven't been thought
about in relation to hair loss, yet it made sense that there was
an inhibitor of hair growth, based on our earlier work looking at
hair follicle stem cells," senior author Professor George Cotsarelis
of the University of Pennsylvania said in a statement released on
said that the latest findings supported previous studies demonstrating
stem cells that create hair were still intact in bald men and that
while hair follicles were also still intact, they had appeared smaller
and produced thinner and shorter hair, and as time goes on hairs
became so short that they no longer protrude beyond the surface
of the skin.
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© 2012 Medical Daily