At the bottom of each hair follicle are special cells that play a key role in hair growth called papillae cells. They produce the signaling molecule SCUBE3, which commands nearby hair stem cells to divide and grow hair. In people with androgenetic alopecia, papillae cells produce insufficient amounts of this signaling molecule: “At different times during the life cycle of the hair follicle, papillae cells send out signals that keep the follicles dormant or trigger new hair growth. hair, “explained Prof. Dr.. Maksim Plikus of the University of California.
His team studied the function of SCUBE3 in mice and found that it strongly promotes hair growth. Further tests confirmed that this also works with human hair follicles: SCUBE3 stimulated hair growth in both human and resting animal mice that had human hair follicles implanted. The researchers conclude that the signaling molecule itself or molecules derived from it are candidates for a promising hair loss therapeutic agent. Their results were published in the “Developmental Cell” journal.
There are currently two medications for androgenetic alopecia: finasteride and minoxidil. Both drugs are not effective enough for everyone and must be used daily. The need for new, more effective hair loss drugs is therefore great. “The natural compounds used by the papillary cells themselves are ideal candidates for the treatment of the next generation,” says Plikus.
What: DOI 10.1016 / j.devcel.2022.06.005