Friday, February 18, 2011

Astressin-B regrows hair long term; accidental discovery

A team of researchers from UCLA and the Veterans Administration were investigating the effects of stress on gastrointestinal functions. They were using mice that overproduced a stress hormone called corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF). The stress hormone caused them to lose their hair as they got older.

Researchers studied the effects of CRF on the colon. They also wanted to study what would happen to the intestines if the stress hormone was removed. They injected a peptide called Astressin-B over five days.

They moved the bald mice back to a cage with their hairy siblings, and when they came back three months later -- they could no longer visually identify their original set of bald mice. All of them grew hair!

Subsequent studies have shown that Astressin-B can not only regrow hair but can also prevent hair loss with younger mice that overproduced the stress hormone.

The study is now published in peer review journal called PLoS One.