Researchers have identified a new gene related to hair growth, a finding that could pave the way for future treatments for male pattern baldness and other forms of hair loss, according to a recent study published in the journal Nature.
The team, led by Angela Christiano (Columbia University in the United States), has identified a gene called APCDD1, which causes a rare form of hair loss, hereditary simple hypotrichosis. This disease is caused by miniaturization of the hair follicle: hair “The identification of this gene present in simple hypotrichosis gives us a better visibility of the process of miniaturization of the hair follicle, which is observed in the regular fall of hair in man,” said Angela Christiano.
However, “it is important to note that the gene discovered for simple hypotrichosis does not explain the complexity of male pattern baldness,” he added.
The identification of the APCDD1 gene was made thanks to the analysis of the genetic data of some Pakistani and Italian families that have the gene that causes simple hereditary hypotrichosis.
The researchers found a mutation of the APCDD1 gene, located in a region of chromosome 18, already related by previous studies in other forms of hair loss. The researchers showed that the APCDD1 gene inhibits the cell signaling pathway, called Wnt, whose role in hair growth control has been demonstrated in rats.
“The finding suggests, for the first time in man, that manipulation of the Wnt pathway could have an effect on hair follicle growth,” said Angela Christiano.