Autophagy Is Essential for Maintaining the Growth of a Human Mini-Organ: Evidence from Scalp Hair Follicle Organ Culture

    March 2018 in “ PLOS Biology
    Chiara Parodi, Jonathan A. Hardman, Giulia Allavena, Roberto Marotta, Tiziano Catelani, Marta Bertolini, Ralf Paus, Benedetto Grimaldi
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    TLDR Autophagy is important for human hair growth and health.
    In the 2018 study, researchers found that autophagy is critical for the growth and maintenance of human scalp hair follicles in organ culture. They observed that hair matrix keratinocytes displayed active autophagy during the growth phase, which decreased during the regression phase. Inhibiting autophagy led to premature regression and increased cell death, while an anti-hair loss product enhanced autophagy and prolonged the growth phase. The study, which did not specify the number of hair follicles or participants, suggests that autophagy is a key mechanism in hair follicle biology and a potential target for treating hair growth disorders.
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