Some important developments in the hair loss world this month.
Hanging Drop Hair Cell Culturing Method
I have covered Dr. Colin Jahoda and his 3D spheroid culturing of dermal papilla cells on this blog before. Mr. Jahoda has been a pioneer in the hair loss research world since the 1980s, but his best years are likely over. Thankfully, the Chinese are continuing from where he left off. A team from Southern Medical University (China) and Dr. Malcolm Xing (Canada) just published an interesting update on their work with 3D spheroids. They have improved somewhat on Dr. Jahoda’s work with a novel hanging-drop method. I am glad that they are continuing this area of crucial research. Note that when I interviewed him, Dr. Xing gave Dr. Jahoda a good deal of credit.
Dormant Phase Crucial for Hair Rejuvenation
Dr. Elaine Fuchs, just published an important article summarizing how stem cells get activated to produce new hair. Forkhead box C1 (FOXC1) is a key transcriptional regulator of hair follicle stem cell activity and bulge maintenance. Also see another summary of the same study. One of the interesting conclusions of the article seems to imply that premature hair loss is also correlated with premature hair greying. Something I have noticed in many people. “Hair follicle stem cells influence the behavior of melanocyte stem cells, which co-inhabit the bulge niche,” explains Fuchs. “Thus, when the numbers of hair follicle stem cells declined with age, so too did the numbers of melanocyte stem cells, resulting in premature greying of whatever hairs were left.”
Other Hair Related News and Developments
— Meiji Seika Pharma (Japan) and Dr. Takashi Tsuji, head of the Laboratory for Organ Regeneration at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology (Japan), have entered into an important partnership. Their goal is “to develop treatments to regrow lost hair.” Apparently 12 million adult men in Japan suffer from hair loss. The partnership will focus on regenerative medicine rather than on any kind of drug development. Japan’s new laws will also help speed up clinical trials in the regenerative medicine sector.
— Also in Japan, a new article on Shiseido mostly covers things we already know and confirms that they will start trials this year. However, the ending is of interest: “The fee to receive the treatment will be at least 100,000 yen ($887).” A lot cheaper than I expected.
— Tiny Singapore might have a stagnant and small population, but they still care about hair loss. Their scientists (and others from Stanford) recently published a paper covering the gene Axin2 and autocrine Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Complicated stuff to understand for a non-scientist such as myself.
— Antonio Conte’s hair transplant seems to have turned out pretty good.
And now on to medical items of interest:
I will shorten this section for this month since the hair loss one was so lengthy.
— An interesting recent video discussion between Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Dr. Bil Andrews and Elizabeth (Liz) Parrish. All three of whom I have covered on this blog before.
— Another recent one with just Dr. Bill Andrews.