AUG 08, 2018 5:06 AM PDT

Old Drug Offers Novel Treatment For Hair Loss

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

According to researchers from The University of Manchester's Centre for Dermatology Research, a recent developed drug may serve as the key to treating human baldness. Gone may be the days where hair loss surgery is necessary. The drug, originally designed to treat osteoporosis, has exhibited dramatic stimulatory effects on hair follicles by patients undergoing hair transplantation surgery. At the present moment, only two drugs are available for treating baldness and they are male-specific (androgentic alopecia). However, because these two drugs, minoxidil and finasteride, hold some side-effects and have disappointing hair regrowth results, affected individuals are often considered for hair transplantation surgery.

The research study, which was led by Dr. Nathan Hawkshaw and colleagues, were eager to develop other options to promote human hair growth with the intentions of seeking novel treatments that are well tolerated for androgenetic alopecia. The study first examined the molecular mechanisms behind an old immunosuppressive drug known as Cyclosporine A (CsA); a critical drug of the 1980s commonly used to suppress transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases to patients undergoing specific surgical procedures. Although that drug held side-effects, one most unique was the enhancement of cosmetically unwanted hair growth, this encouraged the research team to analyze full gene expression on isolated CSA-treated human scalp hair follicles. The analysis revealed that CsA reduced the expression of SFRP1, which is a protein that blocks the development and growth of many tissues, most importantly are hair follicles. Such discovery promoted researchers to discover a novel mechanism of CsA.

 The human hair follicle bulb. Credit: Dr. Nathan John Hawkshaw

After some investigation, Dr. Hawkshaw and the research team found that a compound, known as WAY-316606, developed to treat osteoporosis was also found to target the same molecular mechanism as CsA specifically antagonizing SFRP1. When hair follicles were treated with WAY-316606, the unrelated compound enhanced human hair growth. Surprisingly, there exists similar compounds to WAY-316606 that can promote better hair growth either the same magnitude or better than CsA and without the side-effects. Dr. Hawkshaw explains, "When the hair growth-promoting effects of CsA were previously studied in mice, a very different molecular mechanism of action was suggested; had we relied on these mouse research concepts, we would have been barking up the wrong tree. The fact this new agent, which had never even been considered in a hair loss context, promotes human hair growth is exciting because of its translational potential: it could one day make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss. Clearly though, a clinical trial is required next to tell us whether this drug or similar compounds are both effective and safe in hair loss patients."

 

Source: University of Manchester

 

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
APR 21, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Antidepressants and Anti-epileptics During Pregnancy May Affect Infant Brain Development
APR 21, 2022
Antidepressants and Anti-epileptics During Pregnancy May Affect Infant Brain Development
Fetal exposure to a mother's antiepileptic or antidepressant medication may affect infant brain development. The cor ...
MAY 12, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Gut Bacteria Composition Predicts Resposnse to Statins
MAY 12, 2022
Gut Bacteria Composition Predicts Resposnse to Statins
The composition of the gut microbiome is predictive of patient responses to statins. The corresponding study was publish ...
MAY 15, 2022
Microbiology
A Virus Was Used to Cure an Antibiotic-Resistant Lung Infection
MAY 15, 2022
A Virus Was Used to Cure an Antibiotic-Resistant Lung Infection
In a clinical first, reported in Cell, researchers used viruses that infect bacteria, called bacteriophages or phages fo ...
JUN 06, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Express Media Service Q&A with Sheng Li, PhD., FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific
JUN 06, 2022
Express Media Service Q&A with Sheng Li, PhD., FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific
FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific sat down with Sheng Li, PhD, Program Manager, to speak about our rapid service for small-scal ...
JUN 22, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
A New, Innovative Process for Clarifying and Sterile Filtering Cells for Protein Purification Workflows
JUN 22, 2022
A New, Innovative Process for Clarifying and Sterile Filtering Cells for Protein Purification Workflows
Introduction Centrifugation and filtration have been widely accepted as techniques required for clarifying complex cell ...
JUN 26, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Vitamin Supplements are a 'Waste of Money' for Healthy Americans
JUN 26, 2022
Vitamin Supplements are a 'Waste of Money' for Healthy Americans
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against using beta carotene or vitamin E supplements to preven ...
Loading Comments...