Reprogramming adult dermis to a neonatal state through epidermal activation of β-catenin

    December 2011 in “Development
    Charlotte Collins, Kai Kretzschmar, Fiona M. Watt
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    TLDR Activating a protein called β-catenin in adult skin can make it behave like young skin, potentially helping with skin aging and hair loss.
    In 2011, researchers investigated the potential of β-catenin, a protein, in rejuvenating adult skin to a neonatal state. They activated β-catenin in the epidermis of adult mice, which led to the dermis reverting to a neonatal state, characterized by increased hair follicle density and subcutaneous adipose tissue. The study also examined the properties of dermal fibroblasts, crucial in hair follicle formation, and found that adult dermis with ectopic hair follicles resembled neonatal dermis more than adult telogen or anagen dermis. The researchers concluded that adult dermis can be reprogrammed to acquire the characteristics of neonatal dermis in response to cues from the overlying epidermis, suggesting potential therapeutic interventions in skin aging and disorders, including hair loss.
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