A single molecule controls both cell growth and death in hair follicles. Given that stem cells can be found in hair follicles, this discovery might one day help end the balding epidemic and speed up the recovery from injury.
A cell’s structure and function are largely determined by its environment throughout its early stages of development. A blood cell cannot transform into a nerve cell, nor can any other kind of cell transform into any other sort of cell. On the other hand, stem cells are universal in that they have the potential to differentiate into any kind of specialized cell. They may be employed to repair a variety of tissues and organs due to their adaptability.
How could these discoveries help science?
As a result of these discoveries, we are one step closer to controlling stem cell activity for therapeutic objectives, such as speeding up wound healing. The liver, like the stomach, has the ability to recover after being damaged. Despite this, the team zeroed in on hair follicles because they are the only human organ that refreshes on their own at periodic times with no form of damage.
Stem cells play a crucial function in hair follicles, and the authors of this research found that a chemical called transforming growth factor beta regulates both cell proliferation and differentiation.
This protein helps to activate certain cells in the hair follicle to initiate the process of apoptosis, or cell death, and renewal. The effectiveness of this medicine, like that of many others, depends on the dose. Whether or not TGF-beta is generated in sufficient quantities by a cell determines whether or not cell division is stimulated. An excessive amount causes apoptosis.
Since hair grows over the skin of many animals, including humans, regrowing new hair follicles is an essential part of healing. Millions of people throughout the world suffer from baldness, which may be reversed if scientists could figure out how to control TGF-beta levels.