Economy, Sci & Tech

Stem Cell Research in Hair Loss

Researchers at Royan Institute have taken a step towards stem cell treatment of hair loss through laboratory studies on rats.

Dermal papillas are small ridges at the surface of the skin, and in the scalp, which provide oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles so that healthy new hair may grow.

Epithelial stem cells (EpSCs) in the hair follicle help in normal hair follicle growth cycle. Any damage to these cells is the main cause of hair loss.

Researchers at the institute – Iran’s leading center for stem cell research– conducted experiments in which they cultivated dermal papilla and epithelial stem cells extracted from the human scalp in laboratory conditions, Mehr News Agency reported.

In the research, around 15 laboratory rats were divided into three groups: one received dermal papilla, the second simultaneously received both dermal papilla and epithelial stem cells, and the third (control group) did not receive any cells.

Results published in the institute’s Cell Journal showed that hair growth occurred in the two groups receiving cells, but in the group receiving both kinds of cells, the hair growth was more tangible and visible to the naked eye.

It was also revealed that transplantation of stem cells effective on hair growth can cause hair growth in hairless rats. With further research and better understanding of hair growth mechanism in humans, researchers may find effective ways to treat hair loss, the institute said.

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