A deeper understanding of how to activate hair re-growth using skin cells has been provided by a new study.
A group from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has discovered an unexpected link between the body's defense system and skin regeneration. It turns out that macrophages are involved.
These are cells from the immune system that are in charge of devouring invading pathogens, a process called phagocytosis. The authors report that macrophages induce hair growth by surrounding and activating cells in the skin that have regenerative capacity, called stem cells.
The discovery that macrophages activate skin stem cells could influence technologies with potential applications in tissue regeneration, aging, and cancer.
Donatello Castellana, from the Epithelial Cell Biology Group of the BBVA Foundation-CNIO Cancer Cell Biology Programme, said that the researchers used tiny droplets, or liposomes, to carry the drug used in the study and the future use of liposomes as a way to deliver a drug to specific cells was promising and might have additional implications for the study of several pathologies.
The study is published in the journal PLOS Biology.