A cure for baldness? Scientists discover immune cells that trigger hair growth - paving the way to a cream treatment
Author: Mia De Graaf
Scientists have discovered how certain immune cells could be used to cure balding.
The regulatory T-cells, known as 'Tregs', are present throughout our bodies. They control inflammation by ensuring every part of the immune system is running smoothly.
Now a research team has discovered another previously unknown function of Tregs: they can trigger hair growth.
Testing mice, scientists from the University of California at San Francisco showed how Tregs in the skin send out signals that stimulate hair follicles to regenerate.
Lead researcher Dr Michael Rosenblum said the findings mark one of the biggest steps in baldness and immune system research.
'Our hair follicles are constantly recycling: when a hair falls out, the whole hair follicle has to grow back,' he explained.
'This has been thought to be an entirely stem cell-dependent process, but it turns out Tregs are essential.
'If you knock out this one immune cell type, hair just doesn't grow.'
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