Autophagy Induces Hair Follicle Stem Cell Activation and Hair Follicle Regeneration by Regulating Glycolysis

    Pingping Sun, Zhan Wang, Sixiao Li, Shizhao Liu, Yuyang Gan, Zhen Lin, Hailin Wang, Zhexiang Fan, Qian Qu, Zhiqi Hu, Kaitao Li, Yong Miao
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    TLDR Autophagy, a cell process, helps activate hair growth stem cells and promote hair growth by controlling glycolysis, a type of cell metabolism.
    The study "Autophagy induces hair follicle stem cell activation and hair follicle regeneration by regulating glycolysis" found that autophagy, a cellular process, plays a crucial role in activating hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) and promoting hair growth. The researchers observed that the level of autophagy in HFSCs was highest during the transition from the resting (telogen) to the growth (anagen) phase of the hair follicle cycle. They used rapamycin, an autophagy activator, and 3-methyladenine, an autophagy inhibitor, on mouse and human hair follicles. The results showed that inhibiting autophagy led to a prolonged resting phase and early entry into the degradation (catagen) phase, while promoting autophagy stimulated hair growth. The mechanism behind this was found to be the transformation of HFSC metabolism into glycolysis, driven by increased activity of lactate dehydrogenase (Ldha) and lactate production. Inhibiting Ldha expression negated the effects of autophagy.
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