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Studies on melanocyte stem cells to prevent or reverse gray hair


Key points from article :

“Hair color depends on melanocyte stem cells,” - Melissa Harris, assistant professor of biology.

Over time, these cells deplete losing their ability to make melanin.

Factors including smoking, diet, stress and genetics may speed up gray hair.

People’s hair may turn gray in response to illness or chronic stress.

Too much immune response is bad for melanocyte stem cells, and this leads to gray hair.

“With the aging process, we gradually lose melanocyte stem cells,” - Ya-Chieh Hsu, faculty member, Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

Too much norepinephrine leads to rapid depletion of stem cells reservoir,” - Melissa Harris.

ACTH cause melanocyte stem cells to migrate away from the hair follicle.

Possibility that scientists discover ways to prevent or reverse gray hair.

“Team Hair-Us” increased melanocyte stem cells in mice.

Study by Harvard University, New York University, University of Maryland published in PLOS Biology, Cell Reports and Nature.

Greying of hair is irrespective of age and gender; Scientists work on stem cells

Mentioned in this article:

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Cell Reports

Journal publishing research papers across a broad range of disciplines within the life sciences.

Harvard University

Private Ivy League research university in Massachusetts

Melissa Harris

Assistant Professor at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Scientific journal covering research from a variety of academic disciplines, mostly in science and technology

New York University (NYU)

One of the world’s foremost research universities

PLOS Biology

Journal providing information from all aspects of biology.

University of Maryland

Public land-grant research university in College Park, Maryland

Ya-Chieh Hsu

Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University