They have this on the locks.
New York University researchers have discovered new evidence of why human hair loses its natural color over time, which could help prevent aging in people.
The new study, conducted with mice and published in Nature, a peer-reviewed journal, took a close look at melanocyte stem cells known to control hair color.
Early in life, these cells can be remarkably dynamic, but with age, as hair is lost and regrown, McSCs tend to slow down and become trapped in what is known as the hair follicle bulge, which means they don’t have a chance to finish. the job for which they were created.
Finding a way to make them move again, which seems entirely possible, could spell the end of gray hair, not just in mice but in people, according to the team at the University’s Grossman School of Medicine. from New York.
“[This] adds to our basic understanding of how melanocyte stem cells work to color hair,” said study leader Qi Sun, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at NYU Langone Health. “The newly discovered mechanisms raise the possibility that the same fixed positioning of melanocyte stem cells may exist in humans.”
“If so, it presents a potential pathway to reverse or prevent human hair aging by helping stuck cells move back between compartments of the developing hair follicle,” Sun said.
During the study, laboratory mice that had their hair “physically aged” by epilation and forced regrowth were observed to have a 15% higher concentration of McSCs trapped in that follicle bulge before the hairs were plucked. .
After the intervention, the percentage of hair that no longer had the ability to generate pigments rose to almost 50%.
With a greater understanding of stalled cells and their likely responsibility for hair color loss, researchers are now focusing on how to get McSCs back on track.
According to principal investigator Professor Mayumi Ito, PhD, the task is to “investigate means to restore the motility of McSCs or physically move them back to their germinal compartment, where they can produce pigment.”
In other words, don’t throw away the hair dye just yet.