New study reveals insight into greying hair and tissue restoration

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

Scientists have uncovered a biological process linked to greying hair that could have wider consequences in the field of tissue regeneration.

An NYU Langone Medical Center team has found that Wnt signalling, a process that controls many biological functions, can enable hair follicle stem cells and melanocyte stem cells to work together to dictate hair pigmentation.

This discovery, which was trialled among mouse models, represents the first time it has been understood how the action of these two stem cell lineages are coordinated.

It is thought that this insight could now be applied to stem cells in the body that have the ability to regenerate other organs.

Dr Mayumi Ito, assistant professor in the Ronald Pereleman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone, said: "The methods behind communication between stem cells of hair and colour during hair replacement may give us important clues to regenerate complex organs containing many different types of cells."

This week, a separate study led by a Salk Institute for Biological Studies scientist found that adult stem cells taken from the smell-sensing region of the nose could be used to treat brain disorders.

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