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U.S. researchers find biological clue to male baldness

03-23-2012 09:45 BJT

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered a biological clue to male baldness, raising the prospect of a treatment to stop or even reverse thinning hair. The findings were reported this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

In studies of bald men and laboratory mice, researchers pinpointed a protein called prostaglandin D that triggers hair loss. They found levels of prostaglandin D synthase are elevated in the cells of hair follicles located in bald patches on the scalp, but not in hairy areas. Mice bred to have high levels of the protein went completely bald, while transplanted human hairs stopped growing when given the protein.

"Essentially we showed that prostaglandin protein was elevated in the bald scalp of men and that it inhibited hair growth. So we identified a target for treating male-pattern baldness," said lead author George Cotsarelis, professor of the department of dermatology.

"The next step would be to screen for compounds that affect this receptor and to also find out whether blocking that receptor would reverse balding or just prevent balding."

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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