Cure for Baldness Becomes Feasible

Cure for baldness 'could be on sale within five years' | Mail Online

The breakthrough, from the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S, centres on a protein called PDG2.

When the scientists analysed the scalps of balding men, they found levels of PDG2 to be three times higher in areas in which the hair was thinning.

In tests on lab and on mice, the compound stunted hair growth, the journal Science Translational Medicine reports.

Earlier work by the same team found bald men have cells capable of making hair, they have just failed to mature.

Hair we go: At the moment men have very few options for treating baldness
It is thought that PGD2 prevents the cells maturing - and stopping it from working would allow hair to grow again.

Drugs that block PGD2 are already been tested by drug companies looking for new treatments for asthma.

Perelman School of Medicine Experts Identify Inhibitor Causing Male Pattern Baldness and Target for Hair Loss Treatments

 Miniaturized human hair follicle shows concentration of Prostaglandin D2 (in green). Credit: Garza and Cotsarelis/Penn Medicine

"Although a different prostaglandin was known to increase hair growth, our findings were unexpected, as prostaglandins haven't been thought about in relation to hair loss, yet it made sense that there was an inhibitor of hair growth, based on our earlier work looking at hair follicle stem cells," said George Cotsarelis, MD, chair and professor of Dermatology, and senior author on the studies. In a Penn study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation last year, underlying hair follicle stem cells were found intact, suggesting that the scalp was lacking an activator or something was inhibiting hair follicle growth.
Prostaglandins are well characterized for their role in many bodily functions — controlling cell growth, constricting and dilating smooth muscle tissue — and a different prostaglandin (F2alpha) is known to increase hair growth. Researchers found that as PGD2 inhibits hair growth, other prostaglandins work in opposition, enhancing and regulating the speed of hair growth.