In the study, when the researchers deleted the SCF gene in the hair progenitor cells in mouse models, the animal's hair turned white. When they deleted the KROX20-producing cells, no hair grew and the mice became bald.
If cells with functioning KROX20 and SCF are present, they move up from the base, or bulb, of hair follicles, interact with pigment-producing melanocyte cells, and grow into pigmented hairs. But without SCF, the hair in mouse models was grey, and then turned white with age. Without KROX20-producing cells, no hair grew, the study said.
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The results published in the journal Genes and Development could help identify possible treatments for balding and hair greying.
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