Multi-layered environmental regulation on the homeostasis of stem cells: The saga of hair growth and alopecia

    Chih-Chiang Chen, Cheng Ming Chuong
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    TLDR Environmental factors at different levels control hair stem cell activity, which could lead to new hair growth and alopecia treatments.
    The document from April 1, 2012, reviews the regulation of hair stem cell homeostasis by various environmental factors. It emphasizes that hair stem cell activity is influenced by both the immediate micro-environment, or stem cell niche, and broader macro-environmental factors such as adipose tissue molecules, hormones, immune and nervous system interactions, aging, circadian rhythms, and seasonal changes. The study suggests that these complex environmental networks could be targeted to develop therapies for hair growth and alopecia, potentially offering a safer alternative to direct stem cell manipulation. It also discusses specific factors like Wnt inhibitors, PDGFA, sex hormones, and the roles of the immune and nervous systems in stem cell regulation. The paper concludes that a multi-layered network of environmental factors regulates stem cell activity, and understanding this could lead to new treatments for tissue regeneration and degenerative diseases.
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