Researchers Hit Hair Regrowth Breakthrough on Bald Mice

A team of Japanese scientists says it hopes its successful experiments on mice can be applied to human patients who have lost hair to injury or disease

By Sam Schulz
|  Thursday, Apr 19, 2012  |  Updated 8:39 AM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Weird News Photos: South Korean Mud Festival

A team of Japanese scientists has succeeded in regrowing hair — including human hair — in bald mice by implanting stem cells into their hair follicles.

Photos and Videos

Bald Beauty

Alaska beauty queen, Miss Chugiak-Eagle River Debbe Ebben, shaves her head to raise money for childhood cancer research. Abby Hancock reports.
More Photos and Videos

Could hair follicle stem cells help people regrow their hair after losing it due to disease? Japanese scientists' recent successful experiments on bald mice suggest it's possible.

The Wall Street Journal reported that after a team of researchers at Tokyo University of Science transplanted two different kinds of cells from mice hair follicles into a bald mouse's follicles, almost three quarters of them sprouted hair within three weeks.

The follicles were turned fully functional with the implanted cells — so much so that if the hair was pulled out, more would grow in its place.

Even human hair grew from the mouse when implanted there, and the scientists managed to control the density and color of the hair that grew by changing the type of cells they implanted, the Journal reported.

The team hoped their breakthrough yields a way of regrowing hair for human patients, though it warned that it would take about ten years of research before that would be possible.

It also said the discovery would be better used for those who had lost hair due to injury or disease, rather than simply baldness, since growing large amounts of hair with it would prove tricky.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
21st Century Solutions
The NBCUniversal Foundation is partnering... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out