Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling in Hair Loss and Hirsutism

A new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that manipulation the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway could lead to a cure for hair loss, excess body hair (hirsutism) as well as certain types of skin cancers. Press release here.

The scientists state that their results suggest that therapeutics which decrease levels of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the skin could potentially be used to block unwanted hair growth and treat certain skin tumors. Conversely:

“If delivered in a limited, safe and controlled way, agents that activate Wnt signaling might be used to promote hair growth in dormant hair follicles in conditions such as male pattern baldness”.

I was pleased to see that besides the veteran always in the news media savvy George Cotsarelis, newer names such as Sarah Millar and Edward Morrisey are also involved in this research. Millar’s bio suggests significant involvement in hair loss research.

Wnt signaling pathways are becoming a major area of medical and hair loss research. I will surely have many more posts on the subject in future.