Science

Adult stem cells used to induce the natural hair growth cycle in hairless mice

Adult stem cells used to induc...
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells
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The bio-engineered follicle germ transplantation method allowed the scientists from the Tokyo University of Science to regenerate hair growth in hairless mice
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The bio-engineered follicle germ transplantation method allowed the scientists from the Tokyo University of Science to regenerate hair growth in hairless mice
The observed growth of bioengineered hairs
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The observed growth of bioengineered hairs
Histological analyses of bioengineered vibrissa follicles
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Histological analyses of bioengineered vibrissa follicles
Intracutaneus transpantation of the bioengineered follicle germ at high density
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Intracutaneus transpantation of the bioengineered follicle germ at high density
The resultant hair density is satisfactory
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The resultant hair density is satisfactory
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells
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A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - side view
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A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - side view
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - rear view
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A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - rear view
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - side view
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A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - side view
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - front view
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A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - front view
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - front view
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A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - front view
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - side view
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A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - side view
The method allows for the full restoration of the continuous hair growth cycle
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The method allows for the full restoration of the continuous hair growth cycle
The microscopic view of the bioengineered hair shafts
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The microscopic view of the bioengineered hair shafts
The implanted hair follicles formed the correct structures and skin connections, while stem and progenitor cell niches were recreated
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The implanted hair follicles formed the correct structures and skin connections, while stem and progenitor cell niches were recreated
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Researchers lead by Professor Takashi Tsuji from the Tokyo University of Science have successfully induced the natural hair growth and loss cycle in previously hairless mice. They have achieved this feat through the implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult-tissue derived stem cells. While these results offer new hope for curing baldness, the work has broader implications, demonstrating the potential of using adult somatic stem cells for the bioengineering of organs for regenerative therapies.

The method devised by Professor Tsuji’s team involves reconstructing hair follicle germs from adult epithelial stem cells and cultured dermal papilla cells (dermal papilla are nipple-like projections at the base of hairs) and implanting these germs within or between skin layers. To recreate the desired hair densities – normally about 120 hair shafts per square centimeter (0.15 square inch) or 60-100 hair shafts per square centimeter following a conventional hair transplantation method – 28 bioengineered follicle germs were transplanted onto a circular patch of cervical skin measuring 1 cm (0.39 in) in diameter. The resulting hair density of 124 hair shafts per square centimeter (plus or minus 17 shafts) turned out to be satisfactory, but there was more good news.

A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - side view
A previously hairless mouse following an implantation of bioengineered hair follicles recreated from adult tissue-derived stem cells - side view

Far more importantly, the implanted follicle germs developed all the proper structures and formed correct connections with the surrounding host tissues, including epidermis, arrector pili muscle and nerve fibers. Also, the stem and progenitor cells along with their niches were recreated in the bioengineered follicles, making a continuous hair-growth cycle possible.

The method has been shown to work with all types of hair follicles, regardless of function, structure and color (depending on the type of the origin follicle). In fact, some features of the hair shaft, such as pigmentation, may be controlled – fancy a new permanent hair color?

Although more research is still necessary (such as further study of stem cell niches and optimizing the way origin follicles are to be sourced for clinical applications), the study constitutes another milestone on the way to next generation regenerative therapies.

Source: Tokyo University of Science

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5 comments
Caimbeul
I'm going to have to post this one on my personal blog - if for no other reason than my wife thinks this mouse is cute as all getout.
Slowburn
Assuming of course that the recipient is the adult the cells are sourced from no anti-rejection drugs are needed ether.
Patrick Vick
sign me up
chidrbmt
Who ever cures baldness will become the richest person on earth.
NatalieEGH
Based on recent research I have been told of, most of the rejection problems have been solved. The doctors have told my best friend who needs a pancreas transplant there is minimal danger of rejection and she will not have to be on the anti-rejection drugs. I am not sure but if I understood her correct they will do two procedures. The first procedure will implant stem cells from the donor and the second will be the pancreas transplant. I just was not sure if the two procedures were done at the same time.
All I know is she is hopeful for the first time in 4 years.