Human Umbilical Cord Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cells Engineered to Overexpress Growth Factors Accelerate Outcomes in Hair Growth

    Dong Ho Bak, Mi Ji Choi, Soon Re Kim, Byung Chul Lee, Jae Min Kim, Eun-Ju Jeon, Wonil Oh, Ee Seok Lim, Byung Cheol Park, Moo Joong Kim, Jungtae Na, Beom Joon Kim
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    TLDR Modified stem cells from umbilical cord blood can make hair grow faster.
    In the 2018 study, researchers found that human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) engineered to overexpress growth factors could promote hair growth by advancing the onset of the anagen phase and increasing hair follicle neogenesis in vivo. The hUCB-MSCs treatment resulted in complete hair regrowth by 6 weeks in depilated mice, which was faster than control groups. In vitro, the co-culture of hUCB-MSCs with human dermal papilla cells (hDPCs) increased hDPC viability and up-regulated hair induction-related proteins, primarily through the AKT/GSK3B/ß-catenin signaling pathway. Growth factors, particularly insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1), were secreted by hUCB-MSCs and found to enhance cell viability and promote the expression of proteins related to hair induction in hDPCs. The study concluded that hUCB-MSCs have a positive effect on hair follicle cycling and morphogenesis, and that IGFBP-1 plays a significant role in enhancing hair regrowth, suggesting a potential new treatment for alopecia.
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