Scientists Accidentally Discover The Cells Responsible For Baldness And Hair Graying During Tumor Study

By Dipannita | May 09, 2017 06:30 PM EDT

Scientists have been looking to find the cures for gray hair and baldness for a long time and now, in an interesting study, they have found out the biological mechanism that is responsible for them. A group of scientists, while doing a study on the formation of tumors, stumbled upon the cells that cause the hair to go gray and lead to baldness.

Gray hair and baldness have been baffling medical experts for ages and now scientists have identified the cells that cause the two. According to Science Alert, scientists have discovered the hair progenitor cells that cause these two problems. Interestingly, they made the finding while doing a research on an uncommon genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis Type 1 that result in the growth of a tumor on nerves. The study was started with the aim of learning about the formation of tumors but took another direction.

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The scientists accidentally came across the protein KROX20 which shares a connection with nerve development and they found out that this protein turns skin cells into hair cells. It makes the skin cells generate stem cell factor and when the molecules interact with melanocyte cells, they turn into colored hairs.

If either of the two is amiss, the hair growth process turns astray. If KROX20 is amiss, there is zero hair growth and if SCF is missing, the hair becomes gray, Time claimed. However, the experiment has been conducted on mice and though humans share many similarities with these rodents, the study will have to be conducted on humans before scientists can claim to have made a major breakthrough in the direction of discovering a remedy for gray hair and baldness.

Still, the finding has aroused hopes and the researchers believe that it will open new doors of cosmetic research. It is expected to reveal the changes in hair that take place as people grow older and also about aging.

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