MicroRNA (miRNA) and Hair Growth

A number of people asked me to write about microRNA (miRNA) and hair growth last year. The publication of four new miRNA and hair growth related studies in 2021 now makes it imperative to cover this subject.

MicroRNA and Hair Growth

  • In July 2020 I briefly mentioned a new study from scientists at North Carolina State University pertaining to dermal exosomes and microRNA (miRNA).

Per the findings, microRNA shows promise for hair regrowth. In particular, the scientists also studied microRNAs (miRNAs) in dermal exosomes from both the 2D and 3D dermal papilla cells.

The research team identified a particular miRNA called miR-218-5p as a key promoter of hair growth. Per team lead Dr. Ke Cheng, cell therapy with 3D cells based on this work could be an effective treatment for baldness. However, you have to grow, expand, preserve and inject such cells into the balding areas.

“MiRNAs, on the other hand, can be utilized in small molecule-based drugs. So potentially you could create a cream or lotion that has a similar effect with many fewer problems.”

  • In the latest January 2021 issue of Experimental and Molecular Pathology, a new study from China found yet another type of miRNA that impacts hair loss. In particular, the abnormal expression of miR-133b may inactivate the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. This ultimately impacts hair growth patterns. Moreover, the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can regulate miR-133b expression.
  • Also see my post from 2015 in relation to microRNA-22 (miR-22) and hair loss. Update: November 2021 — A new study from China concluded that overexpression of miR-22 promotes apoptosis of dermal papilla cells.
  • Update: June 2021 — A study from China found that conditional miR-24 ablation promotes hair regeneration.
  • Update: August 2021 — A new study shows that increased microRNA-31 expression is associated with hair follicle aging.
  • Update: June 2023 — MicroRNA-205 (miR-205) promotes hair regeneration by softening stiff hair follicle stem cells.

mRNA versus miRNA

Note that although closely related, messenger RNA (mRNA) is different from microRNA (miRNA). Messenger RNA is a single-stranded molecule of ribonucleic acid (RNA) that corresponds to the genetic sequence of a gene. MicroRNA is a small non-coding RNA molecule that functions in RNA silencing and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression.

A company named Turn Biotechnologies is working on an mRNA based skin and hair regeneration treatment. Still in its early days. Update: January 2023 — They are covered at the bottom of this article.

Yet another early stage company named Omega Therapeutics is working on mRNA therapeutics to tackle alopecia. Make sure to read about the differences between RNA and DNA in case you do not know.

Faster mRNA based Hair Loss Research

During the past year, two mRNA based Covid-19 vaccines (from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) have been developed in record time.

Moreover, both groundbreaking vaccines have already been used in millions of humans worldwide as of January 2021. This is the first time in history that mRNA based vaccines have been used in human beings.

A lot of hair loss sufferers (including myself) are excited about the impact of this large-scale experiment. mRNA based clinical trials and research have witnessed a decade of progress in just one year due to these events and rapid emergency government approvals.

Perhaps all of this will boost mRNA (and miRNA) based clinical trials for hair loss related products and vaccines in the future.

19 thoughts on “MicroRNA (miRNA) and Hair Growth”

  1. Wow there’s really no hope. Microneedling and minoxidil is the best and only thing that will help any hair loss sufferers.

        1. @Jan
          Sometimes the optimism of those who see the glass half full can do more harm than good … I know it is not an easy thing, but I advise you to accept the reality and move on, the time that passes never comes back .. .

  2. Thank you for still posting and keeping us updated admin! While we may not be where we want just yet, we inch closer a little at a time.

    1. I think, that this will be a good future Treatment for Hairloss, that even can bring Hair Back on bald areas. Maybe this will be groundbreaking.

  3. Interesting article……on another note, minox can have terrible side effects for some. Most dont have the sides fron what I understand, but those that do can have some significant setbacks.

  4. I’ve been checking on hair loss treatments for 20 years now and still the same old song and dance. It’s always a few years away. Here is a secret. Lose some weight, lift weights, build muscles on the chest and arms. Most chicks will take a bald, thin, muscular dude any day over a fat sloppy full head of hair guy. Seriously. I went from 210 to 150 after I got a divorce and my sex life has never been better with women 10 years plus younger. Shave that head and get in shape. Lose the pot belly and look ten years younger. I should post a just before the divorce and 210 and after the divorce 150. I did have to give up alcohol and I was an alcoholic so that helped. Also gave up meat but that was more spiritual than for weight lose but it was a win win. It’s all good just own the bald head and most chicks don’t give two shits if u wear it with confidence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *