Sandalwood fragrance lets her germinate – knowledge

In the lab, researchers were able to delay hair loss on scalp samples

Münster. Hope in bald spots: researchers have succeeded in stimulating the growth of human hair in the laboratory with a synthetic scent of sandalwood. Hair follicles have a receptor for the smell, so they can almost smell, reports an international team in the journal "Nature Communications". The receptor represents a possible starting point for the development of a hair loss product.

Odor receptors belong to an evolutionary very old chemical signaling system. They developed long before the perception of perception developed and they are also found in tissues outside the nose, the researchers report. If appropriate messenger substances are applied to the receptors, this triggers a chemical signal chain in the associated cells. This can lead to the perception of an odor or to completely different reactions.

For example, it is known that the so-called OR2AT4 fragrance receptor in certain cells of human skin affects wound healing. The team led by study advisor Ralf Paus of the University of Manchester and Jérémy Chéret of the Monasterium Labor, a private research laboratory in Münster, now addressed the question of whether this receptor could also play a role in hair growth.

To find this out, researchers from human scalp samples isolated the hair follicles and bred them in the laboratory. The hair follicles are invaginations in the epidermis, where the hair grows up. The researchers then stimulated the receptors with the synthetic smell of sandalwood and examined the subsequent reactions. Their analysis showed that the sandalwood perfume prolonged the growth phase of the hair by reducing the death of keratinocyte cells in the hair follicle and stimulating the production of a growth factor in the outer layer of the hair follicle. If the researchers blocked the receptor, these reactions failed. Which substance naturally causes normal growing hair by binding to the receptor, so far not known. For the treatment of hair loss it is conceivable to apply a messenger substance, similar to the synthetic perfume of sandalwood, on the scalp.

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