Growth factors and cytokines in hair follicle development and cycling: recent insights from animal models and the potentials for clinical therapy

    November 1996 in “Molecular Medicine Today
    Dimitry M. Danilenko, Brian D. Ring, Glenn F. Pierce
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    TLDR Growth factors and cytokines are important for hair growth and could potentially treat hair loss, but more research is needed to overcome challenges before they can be used in treatments.
    The 1996 document reviewed the importance of growth factors and cytokines in hair follicle development and cycling, and their potential as treatments for hair growth disorders like alopecia. Studies using animal models, particularly mice, demonstrated that these molecules are crucial for hair biology and could be used to prevent alopecia, including that caused by chemotherapy. However, the document emphasized that there are significant challenges to overcome before these treatments can be applied clinically. These challenges include identifying the specific causes of human alopecia, creating effective animal models, and developing safe delivery methods for the therapeutic molecules. The paper concluded that while the potential for clinical therapy exists, further research is needed to address these issues and to enable the safe and effective use of growth factors and cytokines in treating hair loss disorders.
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