About half of all men suffer from baldness caused by the death of cells in hair follicle . It can also heal wounds, as follicles are the source of stem cells that can be divided into any type of cell.
In dermatology, alopecia refers to accelerated hair loss, which can be even, or even complete: it's baldness. If we lose an average of 40 to 100 hairs a day, hair loss can be pathological; it concerns millions of people around the world.
But researchers at the University of California in Riverside have identified a unique protein that seems to control when hair follicle cells are shared for cell growth and when they die, known as the "transforming growth factor", this signal protein is involved in tissue development and regulates cell division, growth and death.
In addition, proteins are believed to accelerate healing because follicles are the source of stem cells that can develop in any type of cell, so these stem cells can be used to "rehabilitate" damaged organs. ", said Tshisuan Wang in his statement, a mathematician biologist from the University of California in Riverside and co-author of ."
Why study hair follicles? The University of California in Riverside says it's the only organ that's automatically and cyclically updated, even without injury.
Hair height and fall are controlled by the amount of TGF-beta
According to recent works, researchers have focused on the TGF-beta protein, which plays two opposing roles in regulating the fate of the hair follicle cells: "," says Van.
The researchers sought to understand the mechanisms underlying the control of hair follicle cells, and found that these two opposing roles were controlled by the amount of TGF-beta. A certain protein concentration increased division and therefore the growth of hair follicle, while too high concentration led to follicle apoptosis and hence long-term baldness.
Fortunately, for the sick, the hair follicle, which is self-destructive, does not take the stem cell tank with it, which allows the follicles to be constantly updated. The follicular stem cells are still present, just waiting for reactivation to divide and produce new cells.
Further research into how TGF-beta activates cell separation and how it interacts with the genes concerned can lead to new treatments for balding or alopecia.