Stress blocker helps bald mice regrow hair

US researchers looking at how stress affects the gut stumbled upon a potent chemical that caused mice to regrow hair by blocking a stress-related hormone, said a study on Wednesday.

While the process has not yet been tested in humans, it grew more hair in mice than minoxidil, the ingredient in Rogaine, a popular treatment for baldness, said the study in the online journal PLoS One.

"This could open new venues to treat hair loss in humans through the modulation of the stress hormone receptors, particularly hair loss related to chronic stress and aging," said co-author Million Mulugeta.

Researchers from University of California at Los Angeles and the Veterans Administration discovered the chemical compound "entirely by accident," said the study.

Scientists were using genetically engineered mutant mice that were altered to produce too much of a stress hormone called corticotrophin-releasing factor, or CRF. The chronic stress condition makes them lose hair on their backs.

They injected a chemical compound called astressin-B, developed by the California-based Salk Institute, into the mice to see how the CRF-blocker would affect gastrointestinal function.

When they saw no effect at first, they continued for five days. The researchers completed their gastrointestinal tests and put the mice back in cages with their hairier counterparts.

When they returned to get the stressed-out mice three months later for more tests, they discovered they could no longer tell them apart because the mice had regrown all the hair they had lost.

"Our findings show that a short-duration treatment with this compound causes an astounding long-term hair regrowth in chronically stressed mutant mice," said Mulugeta of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Not only did it help grow hair, it also appeared to help hair maintain its color and not go gray.

"This molecule also keeps the hair color, prevents the hair from turning gray," he told AFP.

The short five-day time span of treatments brought hair growth effects that lasted up to four months, which was also surprising to researchers.

"This is a comparatively long time, considering that mice's life span is less than two years," Mulugeta said.

Researchers gave the bald mice treatments of "minoxidil alone, which resulted in mild hair growth, as it does in humans. This suggests that astressin-B could also translate for use in human hair growth," said the study.

Co-author Yvette Tache, a professor of medicine at UCLA, said it could take up to five years to start a clinical trial in humans.

"This research could be beneficial in a lot of diseases which are stress-related in their manifestations or exacerbation of symptoms," she said, noting that no sign of toxicity has appeared after extensive tests on mice.

Mulugeta said talks were underway with a major cosmetics firm to fund a study in humans.

"In general, the concept that interfering with the stress hormones or their receptors to prevent or treat stress-related diseases is a very valid concept," he said.

Jean Rivier, a Swiss professor at the Salk Institute, said he has reason to believe the process could be useful in other stress-related ailments, from psoriasis to depression to heart and artery problems.

"You bring back the skin to a normal acidic state where it can essentially go back to a normal stage whereby hair will grow again, and this is very reminiscent of what is seen in relapses and remissions," he said.

The CRF-blocker was studied by other major pharmaceutical companies but was abandoned because it could not administered orally, he said.

However, the latest method uses peptide analogs that bind to the same receptors but via different types of molecules, which could be administered though injections or potentially through a nasal spray.

 

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Web Application Support Manager

    £60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

    Music Teacher

    £85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

    Maths Teacher

    £85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

    C# asp.net Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments