A New Hair-Loss Protein Discovered

Hair-Loss ProteinBoth male and female pattern hair loss is a very common and serious problem affecting a great deal of people around the world. It is estimated that every second man over 50 suffers from hair thinning and loss. By the age of 70, about 80 per cent of men have clear male pattern baldness. For very long time health care specialists and scientists have been trying to look as close as possible at the causes of hair loss. It is now reported that a possible biological clue to understanding the causes of male pattern baldness was found, and a new hair-loss protein that can be responsible for male hair loss was identified. This way, our chances to receive a great and effective treatment for this very common problem has been increased.

A group of experts at the University of Pennsylvania attempted to analyze what genetic changes a balding man undergoes. It was known before that male hormone testosterone, as well as genetic factors play a leading role in male pattern baldness development causing our hair follicles to shrink and gradually disappear. After carrying out a series of tests on lab rats and men, the scientists managed to find out that hair follicles in balding patches of men have increased levels of prostaglandin D synthase, a protein, which can be sound in normal amounts in hair follicles in non-balding areas of scalp.

After a certain treatment with this protein, a group of lab rats went completely bald. The experiment was followed by studying the effects of the mentioned protein on transplanted hairs in men. After a certain ‘treatment’, the experts observed that the transplanted hairs have stopped growing completely. Thus, the hypothesis was proposed that prostaglandin D synthase can play a role for stimulating hair loss in men and causing male pattern baldness. The protein received the name ‘hair-loss protein’, and it is considered a new target for developing a male pattern hair loss treatment.

Professor George Cotsarelis from the University of Pennsylvania, a study leader, said: “The next step would be to screen for compounds that affect this receptor and to also find out whether blocking that receptor would reverse balding or just prevent balding – a question that would take a while to figure out.” Experts say that nowadays, there are about a dozen effective medications in the market which can inhibit the activities of prostaglandin D synthase and possible show a way to a new revolutionary hair loss treatment. Read more about this interesting study and the findings, as well as learn what are the comments and opinions of the world’s leading experts on this discovery, in the latest issue of  the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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