Baldness is an undesirable condition that afflicts both men and women, many of which have family members with significant hair loss. According to Health Day News, a new study of stem cells in mice shows promise for future treatments for people who battle hair loss.
The study was conducted on the fatty skin layers of mice by researchers at Yale University. Specifically, adipose precursor cells were found to spur new hair growth in mice, according to Health Day News.
Stem cells are present in hair follicles, which help generate hair growth. Health Day News explains that these cells are still present in people with baldness, but the follicles no longer receive signals to grow new hair. At the same time, hair loss causes a decrease in natural fat cells within the scalp.
“If we can get these fat cells in the skin to talk to the dormant stem cells at the base of the hair follicles, we might be able to get hair to grow again,” said senior study author Valerie Horsley, as quoted by Health Day News.
When scientists injected stem cells into the mice, 86 percent of the follicles experienced hair growth, according to Time Magazine. This growth occurred within two weeks of the initial injections.
The studies in mice show promise for hair growth and new fat cells in humans, but it is unclear at this time whether people will respond to signals in the exact same way as the mice did during the experiments.
The full study was published in this week’s trade journal, Cell.
Most people experience an average hair loss of 100 strands per day, according to the National Institutes of Health. Individuals who experience pattern baldness lack the ability of the follicles to generate new hair growth to make up for normal losses.