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Stem-Cells May Be Answer To Baldness

Stem-Cells May Be Answer To Baldness

By Marietta Gross - Scoop Media Auckland

Balding people may be able to beat the horror of the smooth-scalp-look by seeking 21st century science. According to scientists, Alopecia (hair loss) could be treated with stem cells from the root of a hair. The cells could also be multifariously applicable.

Stem cells from hair forming follicles could be developed into neurons, observed scientists, when they planted the cells under the skin of mice. The follicles are a source for stem cells which could also serve as a treatment of nervous diseases.

Hair building follicles run through a cycle of growth and dormancy phases. Therefore the supply with fresh cells is necessary. These cells deliver stem cells, which lie in a bulge collateral of the follicle. Robert Hoffman and colleagues from the University of California have recently shown that these stem cells also build a protein which is characteristic for nerve forming stem cells.

Now the researchers have analysed the changeableness of the follicle stem cells. They extracted the cells from follicles at the base of mice whiskers. One week after they had been transplanted under the skin of donor animals, the stem cells developed into neurons. After several weeks they formed skin cells, smooth muscle cells and so called melanocytes, in which skin pigments are produced.

“These results indicate that hair follicles can be used as easily accessible source for stem cells”, report the researchers in the magazine “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”. Stem cells could produce replacement tissue in the future which can be implanted to patients whose tissue has stalled or cannot perform its tasks. For the extraction of adult stem cells such as those form the follicles, it’s not necessary – in contrast to an embryonic extraction – to produce and then destroy embryos.

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