Hair follicle stem cells, which promote hair growth, can prolong their life by switching their metabolic state. In experiments conducted with mice, a research group active in Helsinki and Cologne, Germany, has demonstrated that a protein called Rictor holds a key role in the process.
The study was published in the Cell Metabolism journal.
Mechanisms that regulate stem cells
Ultraviolet radiation and other environmental factors damage our skin and other tissues every day, with the body continuously removing and renewing the damaged tissue. On average, humans shed daily 500 million cells and a quantity of hairs weighing a total of 1.5 grams.
The dead material is replaced by specialised stem cells that promote tissue growth. Tissue function is dependent on the activity and health of these stem cells, as impaired activity results in the ageing of the tissues.
“Although the critical role of stem cells in ageing is established, little