Gene therapy for hair loss and baldness - Printable Version
+- Biotechnology Forums (https://www.biotechnologyforums.com)
+-- Forum: Biotechnology Discussion (https://www.biotechnologyforums.com/forum-1.html)
+--- Forum: Gene and Cell therapy (https://www.biotechnologyforums.com/forum-8.html)
+--- Thread: Gene therapy for hair loss and baldness (/thread-1872.html)
Gene therapy for hair loss and baldness - Kamat2010 - 11-20-2012
Hair loss is one of the common problems faced by a large number of men and women. There are a number of remedies that are available in the market namely wigs, topical treatments, drugs, nutrient supplements like vitamin, hair transplant surgery, caps and hats or complete shaving of hair. Other than these treatments, there are a number of associations, support groups, counsellors, etc to help people cope with the mental agony caused due to hair loss. Since, no permanent cure has yet been devised for the baldness, constant research studies are being carried out to find out the reasons responsible for the development of baldness.
Research has shown that the development of hair follicles takes place in the womb and after birth; there is no appearance of new follicles. In the head of a person, there are about 100,000 follicles and if the follicles are severely damaged due to any reason, it results in its end of the follicles and there is no further formation of hair from those follicles. The follicles are limited in their ability for regeneration and as there is no new formation of follicles after birth, it causes severe hair loss resulting in baldness.
The scientists in the University of Pennsylvania have illustrated the role of a particular gene that is responsible for the hair follicle formation. They have performed successful studies in mice for the regeneration of hair follicles. They have found the role of a particular gene called Wnt, which on manipulation leads to hair follicle regeneration. This study provides an area of vast application for devising methods regarding hair re-growth.
The studies showed the role of Wnt gene in the process of wound healing and the formation of new hair follicles. Different experiments were performed, which illustrated the formation of new follicles in the wound healing process; hence, this could be manipulated for increasing the number of follicles to a great extent. The experiment involved the removal of small sections of skin from the mice that resulted in the formation of new skin in those regions due to stem cell activity. During the process of the wound healing, it was observed that the skin that formed during the healing process possessed the characteristics of the normal skin with the original glands, hair follicles and eventually the same appearance. It was seen that if the Wnt gene was active, the normal healing process was achieved, while in the Wnt gene knockout mice or the mice, in which the Wnt gene was blocked, there was no formation of hair follicles. Moreover, it was also observed that increasing the activity of Wnt gene resulted in an increase in hair growth. Hence, it was concluded that the creation of wounds caused the ‘waking up’ of the Wnt gene, which activated the wound healing process, thereby resulting in formation of hair follicles resulting in new hair growth.
Hence, it can be seen that the studies have created a new view among the scientists to look at the aspect of gene therapy for baldness instead of looking at hormones. Although, the regeneration ability of many animals is known like the re-growth of tail, limbs, etc, the ability of regeneration in mammals was thought to be quite limited. However, the successful studies of regeneration of hair follicles and surrounding area of skin in mice after the creation of wounds have generated interest for further in-depth studies in this area and for successful translation to human studies. The new possibilities in the treatment of wounds have shown great promise for reconsidering the regenerative capabilities of skin in mammals.
The studies on the Wnt gene may stimulate detailed analysis on the subject for finding new solutions and treatments for baldness. However, it fails to generate the same amount of enthusiasm in others as previous researches on the discovery of ‘hairless’ gene responsible for baldness by scientists in Columbia University in 1998 could not be translated into hair loss therapies due to various reasons. Hence, the development of permanent solutions for baldness using gene therapy is a dream for future as extensive studies are essential related to the subject. The role of inherited genes and stem cells in the development of baldness continue to excite the scientists for further detailed research on the subject.
RE: Gene therapy for hair loss and baldness - BojanaL - 01-11-2013
Potential solutions for hair loss could be associated with vitamin D
Baldness affects both men and women. 40% of men will see first signs of hair loss at the age of 35, and this percent will continue growing with age: 65% of men aged 60 and 80% of people aged 75 will experience hair loss. Around 35 million men and 21 million women in USA are dealing with hair loss. Number of people seeking professional help doubled between 2004 and 2008. Around 2 billion dollars are spent annually on the surgical interventions and this number is growing each year. 60% of hair loss sufferers would rather have more hair than more money or friends and 30% would give up on sex to get their hair back!
People lose their hair because they have genetic predisposition (androgenic alopecia is typical for males), due to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, as a result of stress, accidents…. Whatever the reason, renewal of the hair is imperative for all of them and cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry spends a lot of money to find an ideal solution for this issue.
Hair is produced from a hair follicle. Hair growth is divided in three phases. Anagen comes first and it is the longest phase (2-7 years, genetically predisposed). In this phase hair grows actively, ~1 cm in 28 days. Catagen is the next, much shorter phase. During 2-3 weeks, active growth of the hair will be stopped and blood supply will be cut. Cells responsible for growth of new hair will form during this phase. Telogen is last phase. It lasts 3 months and during that time hair follicle is resting. After telogen phase is completed, cycle can start all over again. Usually, 90% of hair is in the anagen phase, 1-2 % is in catagen and 10-14% is in the telogen phase. Baldness occurs when cycle is disrupted.
Like all other processes in the human body, hair growth is guided by certain chemical signals. Hair follicle in the telogen phase will remain dormant until partner or dermal papilla cells send a signal to activate it. Chemical signaling will predispose whether stem cell in the head will differentiate into regular skin cell or in the hair follicle. Too many sleepy hair follicles eventually result in baldness. Scientists from the College of Medicine in Phoenix discovered that vitamin D might be crucial for the activation of the follicle and normal hair growth. Vitamin D itself doesn’t induce hair growth but it binds to vitamin D receptor that is essential for the activation of the hair follicle. Vitamin D receptor is tightly associated with another molecule called MED. This molecule suppresses activity of the vitamin D receptor. Using the MED knockout mice scientists showed that elimination of the MED gene resulted in increased hair growth. MED obviously plays significant role in the hair cycle and could be excellent target for the future gene therapy. Another, recently discovered molecule, LEF1, can activate hair follicle receptor but only when vitamin D is available. Japanese scientists grew dermal papilla cells in the medium supplemented with vitamin D to increase the number of active follicle cells. Another group of scientists used rat cells and noted that addition of vitamin D in the final stage of stem cell growth resulted in larger number of cells that successfully turned in the hair follicles compared to cells that didn’t receive vitamin D. All this examples strongly suggest that vitamin D might be a key for the future treatment for the hair loss.
Is it possible to enhance hair growth and wake up sleepy follicles after simple ingestion of vitamin D supplements? Probably not, because activity of the vitamin D is more associated with the way our body uses it than the amount of the vitamin D in the body. This vitamin is essential for the bones but too much of vitamin D can result in higher accumulation of the calcium in the body and kidney related problems. Until scientists figure out the best way of exploiting vitamin D in treatment of baldness, make sure to drink enough milk, eat a lot of dairy products, eggs, mushrooms and fish and spend as much time as possible outside on a sunny days because that is optimal way to naturally boost your vitamin D reserves.
RE: Gene therapy for hair loss and baldness - billyborden - 03-21-2015
The baldness of the hair is also known as the Alopecia. There are so many reason behind the hair loss problems. The major disease behind the hair loss problems is Hormonal diseases like typhoid and cancer become one the main cause of the hair loss problems. In this case people can lose all the hair from the head scalp. The Follicular hair Transplant treatment is one of the Advanced techniques to grow hair permanently without any painless and Cut-less surgery.
RE: Gene therapy for hair loss and baldness - sanjeev Harnandan - 02-03-2017
Now I m B tech (biotechnology ) student from iFTM university moradabad
So you help me after final what I can do