Hair Multiplication Using DP Stem Cells

A new interesting article on hair multiplication, published article on Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, was just released last week.  As part of my personal mission to educate my patients and other hair loss sufferers who visit our website, I post the newest information available on hair loss and hair restoration here.

This article is the result of a recent study done by Aor et al in the Department of Plastic Surgery based at the University of Tokyo School of Medicine in Japan.  The authors evaluated the interaction between the Dermal Papilla Cells (DPCs) and other cells found in skin such as epithelial cells (the outer cellular layer of the skin) on animal models.

The investigators reviewed prior unsuccessful experiments with DPCs in humans and focused on two main challenges:

1.       Functional limitations of expanded DPCs obtained from adult hair follicles

2.       Lack of a clinically applicable method for transplanting DPCs to the skin

The investigators used five clinically applicable transplantation procedures on rat model.  They named the procedures Pinhole, Laser, Slit, Non-vascularized sandwich (NVS) and Hemi-vascularized sandwich (HVS) methods.  They used biomarkers to label rat dermal papilla tissue before transplanting it into rat skin.  They evaluated the regeneration hair follicles microscopically.  The noted growth through different methods, however, has presented numerous problems (i.e.- cystic or inverted appearance following transplantation). They found the HVS method to be more successful due to its higher presented numbers of regenerated hair as well as its increased numbers of mature and regular hair than those observed employing the other methods.

They found that hair growth was detected after expanded adult-derived DPC transplantation using the HVS method. The authors concluded that direct contact of epithelial and dermal components, as well as better vascularization and blood supply of the recipient skin are important factors in producing more successful results from transplanted multiplied hair into the skin.

This study is not the first experience in which hair multiplication research has revealed difficulty in sole transplantation of hair stem cells. This study only confirmed the phenomenon of hair growth and complexity of hair cycling which is complex and involves many different cell lineage interactions.  I am positive that these efforts of the scientists involved in hair multiplication will eventually pay off and that at some point we will be able to restore hair for hair loss sufferers without the current limitations of available donor hair.