Scientists at New York University School of Medicine (NYU) have re-grown the strands of hair on damaged skin by removing the interference between the skin cells that make up the roots of the hair .
The scientists examined the impact of different signaling pathways on the damaged skin of mice in research centers. The research focused on cells considered fibroblasts that emit collagen, the structural protein most responsible for maintaining the shape and quality of skin and hair.
They then activated the signaling path of the sonic hedgehog used by the cells to communicate with each other. It is known that the pathway is very active during the early stages of human growth in the uterus, when hair follicles form, but otherwise stops in the injured skin in healthy adults.
The results showed that the stimulation of fibroblasts through the pathway of the sonic hedgehog can trigger hair growth that had not been seen before in wound healing.
Cell Biologist Mayumi Ito, Ph.D. He said: "Re-growing hair on damaged skin is an unmet need in medicine, says Ito, due to the disfigurement suffered by thousands of traumas, burns and other injuries." However, his most immediate goal is to indicate the skin mature that returns to its embryonic state so that it can grow new hair follicles, not only in the injured skin, but also in people who have become bald by aging ".
"Until now, scientists have assumed that, as part of the healing process, scars and the accumulation of collagen in damaged skin were behind their inability to regrow hair. "Now we know it's a signaling problem in cells that are very active as we develop in utero, but less in mature skin cells as we get older."
The key to the findings of the research was that there was no evidence of hair development in the untreated skin, but in the treated skin, which shows that the signaling of the sonic hedgehog was behind the hair development.
To avoid the danger of tumors revealed in different tests that activated the pathway of the sonic hedgehog, the Langone group of the University of New York activated only fibroblasts that were found just below the surface of the skin where the roots of the hair follicle appear (papillae). dermal). The specialists also focused on the fibroblasts in light of the fact that it is known that the cells help to guide a part of the natural procedures related to recovery.
Approximately one month after the skin lesion in each treated mouse, a new hair growth was observed in the interior, with a hair root and stem structures that began to appear in the following nine weeks.
Ito said: "We are planning to investigate how the chemical and genetic stimulants of fibroblasts could activate the pathway of the sonic hedgehog in wounded human skin."
The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.