Category Archives: Southern Illinois University

LGR Gene Family and Hair Follicle Growth

Last year, someone sent me an interesting link to a study on LGR6 expressing epithelial stem cells (LGR6+ ESC) and their potential to regenerate human skin as well as hair in wounded skin. LGR6 stands for “leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 6”, which is a protein that is encoded by the LGR6 gene in humans.

It turns out that one of the main authors of the above paper, Dr. Michael Neumeister, is also the chief of microsurgery and research at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIUSOM). When I went to SIU’s plastic surgery website’s research section, I was surprised to see that they were undertaking significant research on hair regeneration. You can click on the “current research projects” and “recent publications” tabs to read more on their hair related work.

One surprising thing is that under “current research projects”, they mention LGR5 rather than LGR6 as in the earlier mentioned study:

2. Human Hair Regeneration: A Cure for Male Pattern Baldness

Goal: To produce de novo human hair follicles from LGR5 stem cells for a potential long term treatment for male pattern baldness.

Besides LGR5 and LGR6, it seems like LGR4 is also involved in hair follicle growth. LGR 4/5/6 are classified as a gene family.  The differing actions of LRG5 and LRG6 on hair follicles is outlined in a portion of this article.

Going back to the original study I mentioned at the top of this post, it is interesting to note that they also mention the positive effect of adding ADSc (adipose-derived stem cells) containing SVF (stromal vascular fraction) to the LGR6 seeded scaffolding. I have covered SVF and adipose cells for hair growth briefly on this blog before, and ADSc has been a hot topic on all hair loss forums for the past year or two.

The article also mentions upregulation of WNT signaling and of epidermal growth factor (EGF) after the transplantation of a “LGR6+ epithelial stem cell-enriched scaffold.” For the scientists and experts among this blogs commentators, all of this might of significant interest for discussion.

Note: I have now added SIU to my list of the most important hair loss research centers around the world.