Articles Tagged with: stem cell research

Researchers Use Immune System to Trigger New Hair Growth in Mice

As the year comes to an end, yet another hair loss study has rocked the Internet with fascinating results! Just a couple weeks ago, researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre released findings that demonstrate how the immune system can be used to induce changes in the regenerative skin stem cells of laboratory mice. The study was published in PLOS Biology, and while follow up studies are needed, the hair loss community embraces these findings as much-welcomed insight on the potential for a “stem cell” hair loss cure.

Related news: Discovery of New Stem Cells May Hold Future Hair Loss Cure.

Commenting on the study, author Mirna Perez-Moreno explains, “We have discovered that macrophages[…] are also involved in the activation of hair follicle stem cells,” (i).

Macrophages are special immune system cells that play an important role in a process called phagocytosis. To protect the body, macrophages consume inbound pathogens while assisting in cellular repair (e.g. healing wounds). In the study conducted by the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, the macrophages had an additional and shocking effect on the hair follicles of lab mice.

The discovery began, at first, as a simple observation. While administering anti-inflammatory drugs, Perez-Moreno noticed that some mice experienced hair growth shortly after receiving the medication. This led her to hypothesize that the cells of the immune system might play a vital role in communicating with the hair follicle stem cells. To evaluate the hypothesis, the team tested several individual immune system cells to see if they had an effect on hair growth.

As researchers took note, one specific type of immune system cell did appear to play a causal role in activating stem cells within the hair follicle: The macrophages.

Summarizing the findings of the study, authors explain, “Our study underlines the importance of macrophages as modulators in skin regenerative processes, going beyond their primary function.”

Eventually, researchers hope to use findings like this to develop treatments in which stem cells can be “activated” to promote cellular regeneration. Such treatments could provide far-reaching benefits in the fight against terminal illnesses and other serious health conditions. For men and women who suffer with hair loss, stem cell therapy promises to one day “reactivate” hair follicles to reverse pattern baldness without foams, prescription medications, or hair transplant surgery.

Sources

(i) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287367.php

New Method of Producing Stem Cells Falls Short

New Method of Producing Stem Cells Proves WrongEarlier this year, a team of Japanese scientists released studies that amazed the scientific community with a new method of producing stem cells. The new method claimed to have transformed ordinary cells into adult stem cells— cells capable of undergoing further transformation into any cell in the body. Researchers remained skeptical, however, as the new process involving a straight forward acid bath seemed overly simplistic and inherently flawed.

The study was originally published by a team of researchers from Boston and Japan in the scientific journal Nature. Following publication, however, leaders in the scientific community took issue with the images used as evidence in the study. Soon thereafter, specific elements of the Methods section of the papers received intense scrutiny, with many critics alleging issues of plagiarism.

Too Good to Be True: Scientists Withdraw Recent Stem Cell Findings

In a statement issued during a press conference with The Japan News, researcher Teruhiko Wakayama said, “I’m no longer sure that the articles are correct.” Mr. Wakayama is one of the first researchers to ever clone a mouse, making his endorsement-turned-retraction a shock to many. Elaborating on the study, Mr. Wakayama explained to news agency NHK World that he felt the experiments were correct, however the credibility of the data used as preconditions for the experiment had come into question.

Moreover, it’s important to note that the original studies involved cells from animal subjects, specifically mice. Even if successful, scientists face significant challenges when using the same methodology to achieve the same results in humans.

Proven Hair Loss Treatments

In the wake of these now compromised study results, it appears science is not any closer to a stem cell hair loss treatment. Fortunately, there are a number of hair loss treatment protocols that have been proven effective for men and women.

Non-surgical Hair Restoration

Non-surgical methods of hair restoration with a proven track record of success include:

Surgical Hair Restoration

Learn More About Hair Restoration in Miami

To learn more about the surgical and non-surgical methods of hair restoration available in Miami, contact the Hair Transplant Institute at (305) 925-0222.

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