Altering the Production of Lactate May Influence Hair Growth

Published Date : Aug 17, 2017

It has been found that the stem cell metabolism for hair follicle is different from other cells of the skin, said researchers from University of California. The process of metabolism makes use of enzymes that alter nutrients to produce metabolites and as hair follicle stem cells consume the nutrient glucose, process the glucose, and eventually produce a metabolite called pyruvate, which is then sent to their mitochondria. The hair follicle stem cell metabolism made researchers examine if genetically withdrawing or reducing the entry of pyruvate into the mitochondria would compel hair follicle stem cells to make more lactate. The researchers also wanted to know if that would activate the cells and grow hair more quickly.

Thus the research team experimented on mice. They first blocked the production of lactate genetically in mice and then proved that it prevented hair follicle stem cell activation. They then increased the production of lactate genetically in the mice. This hastened the hair follicle stem cell activation and also increased the hair cycle. The researchers then realized how altering the production of lactate in mice was influencing the growth of the hair and they decided to look for potential drugs that can be applied to the skin and have the same effect. The researching team identified two drugs for application on the skin of mice which promoted the production of lactate- RCGD423 and JAK-Stat.

Through this study on mice, researchers have gained insight into new ways of activating stem cells and they are now striving to stimulate hair growth in humans and help millions of those who are suffering from hair loss. The study has helped them understand the critical role that metabolism plays in stems cells and hair growth and these findings are expected to help them find new ways for battling hair loss.