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Hair regeneration by small molecules that activate autophagy

By Min Chai, Meisheng Jiang, Laurent Vergnes, Xudong Fu, Stéphanie C. de Barros, Jing Jiao, Harvey R Herschman, Gay M Crooks, Karen Reue, Jing Huang

Posted 18 Apr 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/303495 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.05.070)

Hair plays important roles, ranging from the conservation of body heat to the preservation of psychological well-being. Hair loss or alopecia affects millions worldwide and can occur because of aging, hormonal dysfunction, autoimmunity, or as a side effect of cancer treatment (Gilhar et al., 2012; Petukhova et al., 2010). Methods that can be used to regrow hair are highly sought after, but lacking. Here we report that hair regeneration can be stimulated by small molecules that activate autophagy, including the longevity metabolites α-ketoglutarate and α-ketobutyrate, and the prescription drugs rapamycin and metformin which impinge on TOR and AMPK signaling.

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