“Happy Hormone” Hair Loss Study

Hair loss research study on rodentsScientists researching gastrointestinal disease have accidentally identified a “happy hormone” that caused hair to re-grow in genetically-altered mice. This finding may influence future treatments for hair loss.

The mice had been genetically altered to produce too much corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF), a stress hormone. Too much CRF caused these stressed-out mice to lose fur as they aged, as well as other symptoms.

These balding mice were injected with a new anti-stress hormone called “astressin-B.” Their hair loss stopped, and their hair re-grew within a few months. The younger mice, who still had plenty of fur, were also given injections of the anti-stress hormone, and they did not have hair loss. The hormone also seemed to have a positive effect on the GI and heart/circulation systems.

The hormone seemed to cause the mice’s hair follicles to begin working again. It is possible that this mechanism could be helpful for finding new treatments for hair loss such as male pattern baldness, hair loss from cancer treatments, and alopecia.
Even though “astressin-B” had an apparently positive effect on genetically-altered mice, it remains to be seen whether this hormone is safe and effective on humans. Much more research would be needed before a person could safely consider any treatment based on this hormone.

While there are medications for hair loss, such as Rogaine and Menoxil, they must be taken continuously for their effects to be sustained. A hair transplant remains the only permanent solution to hair loss.

CRF Receptor Antagonist Astressin-B Reverses and Prevents Alopecia in CRF Over-Expressing Mice” PLoS One, Wang, L. et al.