Some more than others, but generally most human beings have hair in the body parts head, legs or hands. However, in others, such as the palms of the hands or feet of the legs, it is not the slightest hint of hair, regardless of the gender, age or tendency of the hair of the individual. Why is this?

This is an issue that many scientists have asked, and now a team of researchers from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, in order to apply this knowledge to the treatment of alopecia or restoring hair growth in Scars of burns and large wounds. In addition, its results, which are published today in Cell Reports, explain why some animals, such as rabbits, they have hair on the body parts where other rodents, like mice, no.

Inducing more "hairy" signs

The gene encoding an inhibitor of the signaling pathway involved in the development of hair follicles is expressed on the hands of the hands and feet of the feet

These researchers focused their study WNT signal path, known for having an essential role in the development of hair follicles and hair growth. It is clear that, under normal conditions, this path works perfectly in areas of the body, such as legs or hands, but does not work in other areas, such as hands on the hands.

The answer, as these scientists describe in their study, is in a protein inhibitor of said path, called Diccopop 2 (DDK2). They check that the gene encoding for this protein has been found very pronounced in the skin of the mice, in which, just like in the feet of human legs, hair does not grow. However, if it is idle on The hair begins to develop like in the rest of the body. This shows this the WNT pathway is also located in these areas, but is paralyzed through the action of DDK2.

Finally, they found it in rabbits this gene is not expressed, hence his skin, like that of polar bears, Yes, he has hair. This shows that, through evolution, this time follows different paths, depending on specific needs of each species animal

Out of curiosity

All this reacts to that strange question which we did for a long time, but the purpose of this team of scientists goes much further.

It is known that hair follicles develop in human fetuses, but stop production after birth. Therefore, when large burns or wounds heal, the new skin is missing hair. In search of a solution to this problem, they suggested check if it is DDK2 the one who is involved in the paralysis of the development of hair follicles; because, if so, in these specific cases it can be reactivated to favor the new skin with hair.

But above all, the biggest concern about the lack of hair is that of people with alopecia. According to the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV), 40% of men aged between 18 and 39 years suffers Androgenic alopecia. In addition, the percentage reaches 95% in men with ages over 70 years.

Although it does not suppose health problems, it is often accompanied by a large one dissatisfied with the physical aspect, so many scientists are trying to find a solution. Previous research found DKK2 like a potential candidate the appearance of this progressive hair loss, so that these researchers intend to focus on the next steps of their work in the analysis. Without a doubt, if they manage to reach a good port, many people will be happy about their findings.

More articles from science