Biologists have turned stem cells into hair and transplanted them click

April 17, 2012 15:40

Japanese biologists full grown hair follicles from stem cells and successfully transplanted to the back of a rodent, deprived of wool from birth, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

© Photo: Tokyo University of Science, Takashi Tsuji

Over the past two decades, biologists have learned to turn stem cells into bone tissue, muscle, skin and nervous system. These fabrics can be "parts" in case of damage to the body or cure for a number of degenerative diseases. For example, the culture of "stem" of the neurons can be a panacea for the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Bulbs and cells

A team led by Takashi Tsuji (Takashi Tsuji) from Science University of Tokyo (Japan) to use stem cells to create a complete replacement of lost hair — the "nucleus" of hair follicles that can be integrated into the skin of an adult or a mouse.

Tsuji and colleagues used adult stem cells extracted from healthy hair follicles. Compared to embryonic or "reprogrammed" stem cells, this technique has several advantages — in these cells no mutations due to "errors" reprogramming, they are fully compatible with the genomes of the "patient" and not cause moral and ethical arguments in the population.

The authors raised several "nude" mice, in which the gene has been damaged in such a way that their bodies were missing all of the hair except mustaches, whiskers, and is virtually immune system works.

As a source of stem cells in the hair follicles of the skin tissue, scientists have used embryonic mouse whiskers adult. Researchers have learned from them some two types of stem cells needed for hair growth.

Hair "beds"

Biologists have grown cultures of these cells and collect them from the "germs" of hair follicles — small balls of the mixture of the two types of stem cells.

Then they put 29 such balls in the empty "seats" at the back of the "bare" rodents and follow in order to behave like stem cells. After a month on the site of "beds embryos" full grown, though colorless hair. Researchers estimate that about 75% of sprouted artificial hair follicles.
Tsuji and colleagues have corrected this problem by adding a piece of hair follicles culture of stem cells, which give color and responsible for the softness and other properties of the hair. Improved "germs" proved as successful as the simplest "stem" hair.

After verifying the effectiveness of the new technique, scientists have gone further — they raised similar buds on the basis of human skin stem cells and transplanted them to their wards. Because the immune system of these rodents is practically not working, these "blank" should not cause rejection in mice.

According to the researchers, the new experiment was a complete success — the hair sprouted 21 days after implantation, "embryos". Biologists believe that further experiments with human cells will create a safe and convenient means by which bald men restore their hair for a few weeks.

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