Scientists at North Carolina State University have looked into microRNA (miRNA) for hair regrowth treatment. Their studies identified one miRNA that can promote hair regeneration and an excellent candidate for prospective drug development. The identified is miR-218-5p and which plays an important role in regulating the mechanism of hair follicle regeneration.
To test their findings, researchers create a 3D scaffold to mimic the cells natural microenvironment.
"The 3D cells in a keratin scaffold performed best, as the spheroid mimics the hair microenvironment and the keratin scaffold acts as an anchor to keep them at the site where they are needed," says Ke Cheng, a Randall B. Terry, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Regenerative Medicine at NC State's College of Veterinary Medicine. "But we were also interested in how DP cells regulate the follicle growth process, so we looked at the exosomes, specifically, exosomal miRNAs from that microenvironment."
What exactly are microRNAs? They are small molecules that regulate how our genes become expressed.
"Cell therapy with the 3D cells could be an effective treatment for baldness, but you have to grow, expand, preserve and inject those cells into the area," Cheng says. "MiRNAs, on the other hand, can be utilized in small molecule-based drugs. So potentially you could create a cream or lotion that has a similar effect with many fewer problems. Future studies will focus on using just this miRNA to promote hair growth."
Source: Science Daily