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.

100 thoughts on “LGR Gene Family and Hair Follicle Growth”

  1. Interesting indeed thanks admin. Why haven’t we seen real concrete pictures yet of these cures? if I was a scientist and I had a breakthrough I’d totally have a plethora of pictures to show off my work I mean what do I have to hide besides progress…. Why keep it in the dark? Like why make big claims with nothing to back them up but he said she saids and encouraging words? You guys think this stuff too right? Does it happen like this for all research?

    1. That’s not how it works in the scientific world. They’ll back it up with data in papers published in peer reviewed journals. Before a treatment is offered they will share plenty of pictures and numbers for those outside of the scientific community. also pictures in early stages can be disappointing before a method is perfected and bad publicity on released pictures could scare away investors

        1. H is exactly right. I worked in a lab during my final year at Uni working in scientific research. Science and marketing rarely integrate, it’s actually when there are a lot of photos in the early stages that yo should be worried as it’s likely a scam. Scientists are looking for results and data to support what is usually just a theory to start off with. It takes years of work before they even get to seeing visible results. People seem to forget aspects of how a drug is administered, dosage levels, toxicity etc which they have to be establish before they even think about testing on humans and taking photos. In this case…’no news is good news’ :)

          1. Amen!

            I have a science background myself (although in an unrelated field to hair loss) and I find it ridiculous people ready to dismiss years of research because there’s no pics. If the method or product works you will get pics in due time! If you get zero pics before a product release that is reason to be concerned I’ll agree with that.

  2. Interesting find yet again admin. Wounding yet again too. In terms of IP, how much does Follica/Puretech really have over the wounding thing? I mean, this seems to be a similar approach but via a different pathway.

    I’ve always had hope with the wounding angle but it’d be great if Follica didn’t have domination over this area so others can come in and maybe find a better angle. Again, not knowing just how effective Follica’s treatment currently is.

    Speaking of which, aren’t they due a clinical trial in the 2nd half of this year? Will it be secret like the rest or will this one be made public?

      1. About brotzu.
        You and red is optimistic.
        And said fidia will announce some news about brotzu after the italian holiday.

        But egghead said he had reply from fedia that they dont have any plan for brotzu including releasing it.

        What is true??Im so confusing.

        1. I’ve never heard of anyone getting an email that says they have no plans for it at all. There is a generic email that you’ll receive if you send an email to the address you find on their website that states it’s basically in trial and there’s no plan for release yet.

          A member on HLT has the email address of a women that works at fidia and she said there would be news sometime after the holidays.

          1. AC I hope your right, I do recall a user here receiving an email from Fidia that directly mentioned they have no plans or times for Brotzu’s lotion. I’m not making that up. It’s out there in this blog from somewhere last year.

  3. @Yodawasbald well you did it now lol ..that is tremendous info!!!!!! This thread will have a few hundred comments by tomorrow night.. I have been a big proponent of wounding for some time now and believe its is the most within reach treatment… I must dig deeper on tbw web now im excited.. Great find thanks for the link:)))

    1. god really? yoda that article was from last year thats not news dude… furthermore you still have zero proof of the thorn med pictures you said they gave you. i call b.s. on that as well as this

      1. Wake Forest and Follica emailed me pics of their before and after wounding protocol. It looks like” a PRP”. I talked to them personally they gave me all their proprietary information to me some anonymous guy on the internet. I can’t give you pics because I’m not savvy enough to know how to copy and paste hyper links but trust me I know what I’m talking about guys.

        how familiar does that sound yoda?

        1. You mean folica’s result of method is like PRP???…..

          I cant understand english…well…
          What i undertand about folica is true, It’s so depressed considering Admin posted about folica’s news

          1. no I was being sarcastic I forgot how international the users are here. Admin you should delete my comment – sorry about that

  4. For a Follica wounding type of treatment, how will they get around the “full thickness wound” part? That sounds horrific.

  5. I think admin should be banking on Shiseido or Riken to validate the title of the blog. The rest of companies are icing on the cake.

    1. When did they picture it???
      and i want know the source of pics.

      recent pics that fidia upload??? Or pics that comes from subject???

  6. @hlscc, those pictures looks like a copy of a copy of a copy….notice the blurred writing at the bottom of the 1st 2.

  7. they are taken from a magazine, it’s brotzu not fidia, but why did they release photos of 66 years old when the lotion works better at young age ?

    1. They’re taken from a journal article which discusses the lotion’s effectiveness on female AA patients. So not directly relevant to us, yet people are still freaking out over the bad quality and denouncing the lotion already

  8. Its sickening how every single company and their treatments are shrouded in mystery. Im honestly beginning to think that this defect simply cant be treated properly. The most hopeful thing I’ve seen with the last several years is the greek guys wounding and we dont even know for sure if this is a hoax.

  9. Those pics see awesome! Always have hope in a random Italian doctor with a claim in curing baldness with a lotion lol

  10. Aargh omfg. We have friggen cell phones that can take fantastic pics and yet whenever a company tries to show their “results” it looks like a photo from 1990. So sick of this crap. Put up or shut up. Enough of this beating around the bush and game playing. If you have a treatment that works, post some damn good before and after shots of regrowth with a straightforward answer on how effective it is at maintaining and its side effect profile. How f****** hard is this to accomplish if you actually have a legit treatment? This industry is nothing more than a bunch of crooks looking for an easy payout from a bunch of deperate baldies that they know will pay anything to have a shot at getting their life back. I mean for crying out loud – this can either regrow hair from up to 5 years ago or it cant. Show the proof or step back in line. So done with this crap.

    1. Well said rancid mango!! Now you what I and many have been dealing with since 2001. Same bs over and over.

      1. Φίλε τι γνώμη έχεις για αυτό το Block? Πιστεύεις θα έχουμε θεραπεία στο άμεσο μέλλον? ?

        1. To mono therapia pou tha exoumai einai to wounding apo ton cotsarelis. Mono aftos exei to meson na bgalei to treatment Ola ta alla einai malakies. To brontzu den tha doulepsei an doulepsei tha einai san to Rogaine

          1. Πότε λες να έρθει? Εγώ μένω Ελλάδα. Πότε πιστεύεις ότι θα έρθει η θεραπεία στην Ελλάδα? Θα μπορούμε να πάρουμε τα μαλλια μας πίσω?

          2. Kanenas den kserei yianni. Leei oti the bgei 2018 edw stin amerikh. Den kserw pote tha erthei stin ellada. Lene oti h therapia tha bgazei 100 malia kathe cm2 sto kefali. An ischi afto, san cure that eivai:) to mono prama Pou mporoume na kanoume einai na perimenoume. Apo athina eisai?

          3. Αθήνα ναι . Λες δηλαδή να υπάρχει ελπίδα με τον κοτσαρελλη? Μακάρι. .

  11. It can be treated properly…it’s just the things that work are swiftly bought up and suppressed in order to keep us all bald and firing out money for stuff that doesn’t work. Anyone tried buying Azelaic acid? Was easy enough to purchase 10 years ago, yet now it’s impossible to get hold of the stuff. Minoxidil + Azelaic + Retinol A genuinely regrew hair..yet it disappeared from the market totally….

    1. I checked and you can still by a lotion called Lipogain which is Minoxidil + Azelaic Acid ????
      Never heard of it before you mentioned it though… does it really work?

      1. Apparently so, there were a lot of reports of it working well from forum posts years ago…i havent ever tried it.

  12. So Follica are about wounding + known compound method…

    Will that compound need to be applied forever for the new follica hairs to stay? That would be a really shitty deal.

  13. The JAK hype was spectacular and Aclaris stated several times that JAK works for MPB. Hopefully we’ll hear more from them in the near future.

    @GBH, hopefully your right. Im not about to jump on the conspiracy wagon in any way. I just find it very very strange that none, and I literally mean NONE of the companies working on a treatment can come up with a single piece of usable evidence other than shitty PowerPoints and very bad photos. Its just talk upon talk upon postponements etc etc. Im not trying to be pessimistic, but just think about this for a second; every week @admin is posting very interesting updates from around the world (thanks again admin) but, the only picture we have seen in several years, that actually shows good result of a treatment we have read about numerous times, is made by some Greek dude (and might be fake). I think this says alot about the current state of the HL industry, and imo its only logical to speculate if this defect can be treated better than with Fin or minoxidil, or if its simply an unsolvable puzzle for todays science.

    1. have u ever considered maybe it is not as easy to solve as you think it is? we dont even know the breakdown of MPB.. do we? i think everyone has a different type.. sure hell we all start balding at different age and different places… this all meant to be something…
      so before u make any bold claims about there is no work/money/time spent n hairloss market.. i would kindly ask you to be realistic and try to understand the science rather than b*tching about it…

      let me give you one example from lighting industry. LED technology, due got NOBEL price for this, is a breakthrough research found in 40s.. however practical use and market penetration have been started in early 2000s. why it took 60 years ? if u can answer this question then u will understand why hairloss not cured too… I dont know how i can make myself clear anymore

  14. @Donitello…I’ll wager that when it comes knowing the science underpinning MPB, you most certainly aren’t up there with the more well informed members of this form…all of your posts are irrelevant opinions or pointless claims to want to spend 100k on a treatment…so either contribute something better, or shut up, you annoy me.

    My point is to be taken tongue in cheek…There probably isn’t some huge conspiracy, though it does often seem that way. I’d love to know why Azaleic acid & Minox treatment suddenly disappeared. I have a feeling that several of the companies are pursuing very similar strains of research, namely Follica, Follicum, Riverside..possibly others. I feel that is why they are playing their hands close to their chests…I think all will involve wounding and a solution, very possibly based around the chemistry identified in this post. As soon as one breaks the deadlock, the others will soon follow…

  15. Been watching alot of the Bourne movies lately so I bet Im pretty knowledgeable to say I think those other programs were probably taken out by a highly trained worker of Bosley with amnesia no doubt.

  16. You can still buy azelaic acid and retina a. Just go to your dermatologist and ask for a prescription and then just buy it and add to scalp. Probably better this way since you know how much you are using in comparison to what lipogane had. But I still agree with you. Anything that works too well they take off the market. It really is a disturbing and sad industry. Let’s just hope a miracle happens out of nowhere and a treatment comes out that actually works very well

    1. I have a prescription for tretinoin which is a retin a, so would I be able to get some alzeic acid and add it to my minox?

  17. The repressed treatment conspiracy doesn’t even make sense you guys. If there was some cure or kick ass treatment being suppressed by some shady corporation, you don’t think some of the richest people in the world (A la trump, both Princes of England, etc) would still be balding? Some of the most powerful people in the word are bald or balding, you don’t think they would be able to get their uber rich and powerful hands on something as superficial as a good hair loss treatment? Believe me, if there was a cure, they would know about it and have it. Besides, there isn’t even a good reason for a corporation to suppress good hair loss treatments and technology. The majority of balding men don’t even use Minox/Fin because of sides and just plain ineffectiveness. That’s a hell of a lot of money that “big pharma” is losing because they want to protect two products whose patents have expired… Besides, the corporations and governments that control us are obsessed with keeping us healthy and dumb so we keep mindlessly working towards things that don’t really matter. They would much rather us be working and spending money on new hair loss treatments and worrying about improving our appearances, than actually working towards something intellectual and mold breaking.

    Big pharmaceutical companies would make much, much, much more money with a more effective treatment/cure. A much larger group of men would poor money into this new, patented, and more effective treatment. There is seriously no reason why such a corporation would block new treatments. Its all about money, and new+better=profit.

    Its much more likely that the hair loss industry just has not been as researched and funded as other areas of medicine. We simply don’t have a cure because there is no cure available quite yet. Companies have just now discovered the massive potential in the hair loss industry, which is why there has been very large leaps in progress in this field over the past few years. Large and very reliable players like Tsuji, Riken, and Kyocera have proven this, and a much better treatment is on its way soon. This is Moore’s law of exponential progress. The progress that has been made in this field in the last 5 years is Mount Everest in comparison to the progress that was going on from 2000-2010, and progress will inevitably keep speeding up as time goes on. There are new scientific breakthroughs and discoveries every week. One day soon, it will be our turn.

    Faith lads, the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight.

    1. Well. You brought up some good points Red. I guess you kind of have to look at it from all angles. And people (such as myself) jump to rash conclusions because of their frustration. Good post dude

    1. I finally heard back sunday night – there is no set date yet i’m still on call.

      i’ll let u and this blog know as soon as I do though :)

  18. yo guys sound pathetic. u come here to spit out ur frustrations. talking about conspiracy theories or whatever the f u think is blocking it to reach the market.

    just go and read some stuff and do not pretend to be scientist.
    i ve seen people on this forum who are pissing fights against Dr Tsuji. seen they are asking questions to him in a more challenging way as if he was an intern and ur the guru…

    yeah and also whats wrong with you who believe the photos of this greek dude? why do u extrapolate and say we have no better treatment or whatever.
    nothing more than i hate is broscience. who cares if u r a junior scientists or a student from med school.. all of a sudden the ones with diploma start making claims and creates bullwhip affect.
    yes baldness sucks big time, but ignorance spreading on this chat page is the worst…
    Admin is doing a great job on posting most up to date news. however it is us making it unreadable…
    if it was up to me, i would have blocked anyone who claims to be scientist, spreading ignorance , or broscience…

  19. @GHB: oh yeah few questions to you.
    1- this is a forum where people freely express his or her opinions right? yes we all should as long as we dont encourage broscience or ignorance. did i say anything about me being well informed? or giving any timelines?
    2- I am an end user. i dont care any hairloss technology or how is it made. i just want my hair back. what is there to contribute? are we doing crowdsourcing here? or doing some lab experiment? oh yeah sorry thanks for your valuable inputs I am sure Dr Tsuji is coming to this site everyday for it.

  20. @hlscc, Nothing new in that article whatsoeever. Its all nice, but it has been made very clear that their 2020 aim is a dream scenario.

  21. Anyone know what the hold up is with setipiprant and histogen clinical trials? I cant tolerate any more delays this is killing me.

  22. @spanky: ok.. lets for a minute believe what you say. Then tell us how did u get this information? it is written somewhere? did they tell u in person that it is a dream scenario? seriously tell us where you get this information? i am not asking you why you think like that , just asking where…
    I havent seen anywhere mentioning 2019 is a dream, neither Admin mentioned so..
    this is exactly what is the word spreading ignorance…
    Look at the end of day, maybe you are right. maybe 2019 will be 3019.. i dont care.. what bothers us is that you are pressing your opinion as a magazine cover… it feels like u had a dinner with Dr Tsuji and he confined you in with this information.
    u know what we say about this.. plonkers and gobshites…

  23. I think part of the problem is the competitiveness and backstabbery in the scientific community. We live in a very critical and superficial society and the scientists risk losing their credibility and reputation if the product/drug they design does not meet societies impossible standards. Is their a cookie-cutter treatment for AGA that is 100% effective for all?

  24. I think the most important thing we should all do, is completely ignore Paul Phoenix and Mjones, they comment so regurlaly that they have made their views irrelevant, sick and tired of reading their mood swings, one minute its “hairloss industry is a shame”,next its “new treatments are coming”…just shut up already

    1. Stea quick question for you buddy. How long have you been balding? If you answer is less than 5 years then you can’t say anything to us veterans who have been fighting this battle for over 14 years and only seeing each and every treatment that is expected to hit the market fail. So please do me and Paul phoenix and favor and keep your silly thoughts to yourself. We have every right to btch and complain and have mood swings.

  25. @Stea, And you’ve never read scientific articles that I shared here. Please study more and update your knowleadge. Yes new treatments are coming that’s the truth…In reality, though, it is safer to complain than to stay quiet…25 years without any improvement….Hair loss industry is a shame. Yes.

  26. I think if you guys argue about whos right it gives all the scientists powers to help speed them up so keep going! Should have it by tomorrow if you guys post nonstop. This argument is on every post on here same sh** different time frame. It’s getting old dontcha think?

  27. @Donitello…if you read any of my posts, I always try and encourage discussion, which is the point in forums. Not bro-science, discussions which are based on the developments the admin posts about and which are grounded in other literature we’ve read. That’s not conjecture, the endless crap you seem to spout, however, is. It’s tossers like you who ruin forums, I remember what happened with follicept and I hope that doesn’t occur here. You say the the blog is becoming unreadable…then do us a favour and piss off? Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

    I think we are closer to a better treatment than ever before and I doubt there is any real conspiracy out there..it’s just more a question of product life cycle. It makes sense to skim as much money from the market at this stage as possible before releasing a better treatment…especially if the new treatment is only a bit more effective. Basically, I think these companies are trying to perfect formulations before release, as if they release something which is ok but not amazing, they are aware that competition can release something 6 months later which could be better…thus making their development costs etc a waste of revenue. I think Tsuji approach will be as near a cure as we can get, and I do think it will be on market by 2020..but I think the majority of us can forget it financially. I can see Brotzu, Kelopesia and maybe another topical coming out by this time next year, which will be better than current treatments…Follica and Follicum out in 2020 as a much better treatment which will be “Plan B”s for the guys who cant afford stem cell treatments.

  28. I dont think i agree that is a good strategy for the stem cell cure approach if you make the 10,000 rich folk pay $50,000 for a cure that’s $500,000,000 alot right? If you appeal to the bigger audience and charge $5,000 to 1,000,000 guys out their (probably more) who’d take the chance of having their hair back completely that’s $5,000,000,000. I’m not a scientist nor a sage but I have heard humans prefer bigger numbers when it comes to money… just saying lol

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