Nov, 2021 - By WMR
Research conducted on mice found an unknown mechanism of stem cells, where they lose the stickiness as they age, which results into hair loss.
A new research conducted by a group of scientists at Northwestern University revealed a cause of hair loss in mice, which could also be the cause in humans. The study published in the journal Nature Ageing on October 4, 2021 offers new insights and understanding of tissue age and hair loss. The research found that when hair stem cell start aging, they begin to lose the stickiness that keeps them attached inside the hair follicle. With the loss of their adhesiveness, the stem cells start to escape into the dermis from their place, which is known as bulge.
The team of scientists conducted experiments on mice models for balding in aged humans. It involved classification of hair follicle cells, which also included stem cells, green fluorescent proteins allowing scientists to observe their activity throughout the aging period using laser having long wavelength. Observing the same hair follicle for several days, the team was able to observe the whole degradation process through which they found new insights of cellular activity. The scientists discovered that stem cells lose their adhesiveness as they age, which allows them to escape into the dermis from their location called as bulge. These wandering stem cells cannot survive out of their hospitable environment.
Furthermore, the team studied gene expression levels in the follicle stem cells in mice to find the reason behind the whole process and they found that older mice had lower levels of gene expression than younger mice. Moreover, they found a pair of gene known as FOXC1 and NFATC1, which seemed to be vital for the process of stem cells escaping. The scientists are now exploring the possibilities of reinstating the FOXC1 and NFATC1 genes to help reverse the process of stem cell escape.