How Hair Follicles Grow (Demo)

Ever wonder how hair actually grows on the body, and more specifically how skin functions in this process?  As certified laser technicians (or future technicians) understanding this concept could be you a better, more effective laser technician given that a HUGE use of lasers is for hair removal.  Researchers and scientists at the University of Southern California have studied how hair follicles develop in the skin and how hair grows from them.  Check out the article below from Science Daily that gives their findings and more useful information.

‘How to’ guide for producing hair follicles

Date: August 11, 2017
Source: University of Southern California – Health Sciences
Summary: How does the skin develop follicles and eventually sprout hair? A new
study addresses this question using insights gleaned from organoids, 3-D
assemblies of cells possessing rudimentary skin structure and function
— including the ability to grow hair.

How does the skin develop follicles and eventually sprout hair? A USC-led study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
(PNAS), addresses this question using insights gleaned from organoids,
3D assemblies of cells possessing rudimentary skin structure and
function — including the ability to grow hair.

In the study, first author Mingxing Lei, a postdoctoral scholar in
the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Cheng-Ming Chuong, and an international
team of scientists started with dissociated skin cells from a newborn
mouse. Lei then took hundreds of timelapse movies to analyze the
collective cell behavior. They observed that these cells formed
organoids by transitioning through six distinct phases: 1) dissociated
cells; 2) aggregated cells; 3) cysts; 4) coalesced cysts; 5) layered
skin; and 6) skin with follicles, which robustly produce hair after
being transplanted onto the back of a host mouse.

In contrast, dissociated skin cells from an adult mouse only reached
phase 2 — aggregation — before stalling in their development and
failing to produce hair.

To understand the forces at play, the scientists analyzed the
molecular events and physical processes that drove successful organoid
formation with newborn mouse cells.

“We used a combination of bioinformatics and molecular screenings,
and the core facilities at the Health Sciences Campus have facilitated
my analyses,” said Lei.

At various time points, they observed increased activity in genes
related to: the protein collagen; the blood sugar-regulating hormone
insulin; the formation of cellular sheets; the adhesion, death or
differentiation of cells; and many other processes. In addition to
determining which genes were active and when, the scientists also
determined where in the organoid this activity took place. Next, they
blocked the activity of specific genes to confirm their roles in
organoid development.

By carefully studying these developmental processes, the scientists
obtained a molecular “how to” guide for driving individual skin cells to
self-organize into organoids that can produce hair. They then applied
this “how to” guide to the stalled organoids derived from adult mouse
skin cells. By providing the right molecular and genetic cues in the
proper sequence, they were able to stimulate these adult organoids to
continue their development and eventually produce hair. In fact, the
adult organoids produced 40 percent as much hair as the newborn
organoids — a significant improvement.

“Normally, many aging individuals do not grow hair well, because
adult cells gradually lose their regenerative ability,” said Chuong,
senior author, USC Stem Cell principal investigator and professor of
pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “With our new findings,
we are able to make adult mouse cells produce hair again. In the
future, this work can inspire a strategy for stimulating hair growth in
patients with conditions ranging from alopecia to baldness.”

Additional co-authors include: Chao-Yuan Yeh, Ping Wu, Ting-Xin
Jiang, and Randall Bruce Widelitz from USC; Linus J. Schumacher from the
University of Oxford and Imperial College, London; Ruth E. Baker from
the University of Oxford; Yung-Chi Lai from China Medical University;
Wen-Tau Juan from China Medical University and Academia Sinica, Taipei;
and Li Yang from Chongqing University.

Most of the experimental work was supported by U.S. federal funding
from the National Institutes of Health (AR42177 and AR60306). The
multi-disciplinary team members were also supported by nine non-U.S.
sources: the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2016M590866);
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities
(106112015CDJRC231206); Special Funding for Postdoctoral Research
Projects in Chongqing (Xm2015093); the China Scholarship Council
(2011605042); the Innovation and Attracting Talents Program for College
and University (111 project grant B06023); the National Nature Science
Foundation of China (11532004 and 31270990); the Academia Sinica
Research Project on Nanoscience and Technology; the Ministry of Science
and Technology of Taiwan; and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences
Research Council (EP/F500394/1).

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Southern California – Health Sciences. Original written by Cristy Lytal. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Mingxing Lei, Linus J. Schumacher, Yung-Chih Lai, Wen-Tau Juan,
    Chao-Yuan Yeh, Ping Wu, Ting-Xin Jiang, Ruth E. Baker, Randall Bruce
    Widelitz, Li Yang, Cheng-Ming Chuong. Self-organization process in newborn skin organoid formation inspires strategy to restore hair regeneration of adult cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017; 201700475 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1700475114

Source: University of Southern California – Health Sciences. “‘How to’ guide for
producing hair follicles.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2017.