Researchers at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in the United States have found a new cell signaling pathway in mice through which mammals regenerate the follicles of the skin and hair as heal wounds. This discovery, published in Cell Stem Cell , could, says, help stimulate hair growth again, skin or other tissues in people with scars, burns and other injuries .
The study, “discovers a new role for a protein that functions as the primary regulator of skin regeneration” said lead researcher Luis a. Garza, professor of dermatology at the Faculty of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. “The drugs that activate these proteins have the power to reduce scarring and heal wounds thus promote regeneration of skin follicles and hair , ” he adds.
The work is based on the knowledge that damaged skin releases dsRNA (dsRNA), a genetic formation usually contain some viruses, which is perceived by a protein known as TLR3 (toll – like receptors). TLR3 , in another context has a fundamental role to recognize disease – causing organisms and activate the immune system during the healing process also activate the IL6 and STAT3 gene that helps in the regeneration of hair follicles . Also it activates other molecules responsible for hair growth, such as Wnt, Shh and a gene known as EDAR, which produces ectodysplasin protein and helps the skin growth.
Two groups of mice
“After a heart attack, we replace blood flow, but the real problem is the wound remaining after the heart , ” says Garza. Therefore it ensures that your interest is to improve regeneration in situations like these. Therefore, to study protein expression of certain genes in wounds cured compared two groups of mice . One group was genetically competent capillary neogénsis induced injury, a process in which hair follicles of mice and rabbits regenerate after injury. The other group did not have this ability. TLR3 expression also was three times greater in mice that were better able to regenerate their hair.
The expert notes that the pharmaceutical companies are already developing products to activate the TLR and therefore the immune system. These same products could be used to promote regeneration. However, Garza warns that clinical applications of these findings should expect . Also it makes clear that this information can not be applied to conditions that are not related to scars, or in cases of hair loss baldness .