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Fascinating Article Showing New Hair Growth with Wounding and Lithium


#1

Hey everyone,

Check out this article at pubmed from 2006:

Maybe we should all be doing wounding with lithium chloride?? Check out the last sentence I pasted below.

“Wnt signaling induces epithelial differentiation during cutaneous wound healing”

Abstract

Background
Cutaneous wound repair in adult mammals does not regenerate the original epithelial architecture and results in altered skin function. We propose that lack of regeneration may be due to the absence of appropriate molecular signals to promote regeneration. In this study, we investigated the regulation of Wnt signaling during cutaneous wound healing and the consequence of activating either the beta-catenin-dependent or beta-catenin-independent Wnt signaling on epidermal architecture during wound repair.

Results
We determined that the expression of Wnt ligands that typically signal via the beta-catenin-independent pathway is up-regulated in the wound while the beta-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling is activated in the hair follicles adjacent to the wound edge. Ectopic activation of beta-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling with lithium chloride in the wound resulted in epithelial cysts and occasional rudimentary hair follicle structures within the epidermis. In contrast, forced expression of Wnt-5a in the deeper wound induced changes in the interfollicular epithelium mimicking regeneration, including formation of epithelia-lined cysts in the wound dermis, rudimentary hair follicles and sebaceous glands, without formation of tumors.

Conclusion
These findings suggest that adult interfollicular epithelium is capable of responding to Wnt morphogenic signals necessary for restoring epithelial tissue patterning in the skin during wound repair. […]

In summary, our data suggests that the prolonged activation of beta-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling by lithium chloride or the prolonged expression of Wnt-5a promotes partial regeneration of epithelial appendages in adult murine skin and demonstrates the plasticity of adult epithelial cells during wound healing.


#2

One more thing… notice the type of wounding used (see the appendix). It was a 1.5cm2 full thickness wound – i.e., all the way down to the deepest layers of the dermis. So whatever wounding needed must be deep. IF needling is sufficient then it must be deep to be effect.

I’m seriously considering making this my new regimen:

  1. dutasteride 1.0mg daily (or a higher dose depending on side effects)
  2. lithium/DMSO (for WNT activation and absorption) solution applied daily
  3. needling with lancets 2-3x a week
  4. cheap regular shampoo with added powdered caffeine (as a cheap DHT blocker)

By cutting down on other products (e.g., minox, essential oils, nizoral, etc) I’d be spending practically NOTHING on lancets plus bulk lithium/DMSO/caffeine thereby allowing me to blow the rest on a higher-level daily dose of dutasteride…

…I think the wounding from needling would be a hit-or-miss in terms of epithelial regeneration, but you could imagine that over a period of years eventually enough new hairs would appear that bald scalp would be gradually repopulated…

Best,
BB


#3

I can see the possibilty of the lithium thing working, but only in the interior of the wound. I would think that repeated piercing of the skin on the scalp would result in a build up of scar tissue over time, which is not good for hair growth. Puncturing the skin with a small needle or lancet does not leave much “interior” room.


#4

You know what I think? I think this whole thing won’t go very far. I think it’s a wet blanket.

Look at the two words, “partial” and “rudimentary” in that abstract. This isn’t growing cosmetically acceptable hairs, people. This is growing dermal cysts (look up the term), proto-follicles, and other inchoate, partially-formed structures.

At the end of the day I think this will be proved to be another false alarm. This is wall-to-wall hype – and I don’t care what scientists are involved, it’s HYPE.

It may be mildly interesting from a purely scientific point of view, and some form of this may eventually end up as an adjunct or ‘promoter’ of some future version of HM (like HM version 3.0 or 4.0), but for now, this whole simplistic idea of “wounding + lithium” is of very little real interest in actually growing COSMETICALLY ACCEPTABLE HAIR ON YOUR HEAD.

If this thing ever is made to generate cosmetically viable hair, it will be well after HM is already on the market.

You heard it here first, folks, from ol’ JTR.


#5

JTR,
w points:

  1. I agree that the procedure I outlined – lithium/DMSO/needling – may or may not work on humans. Who knows, though? At the very least it will increase absorption of lithium, which is very promising for hair loss as an anti-inflammatory, anti-androgen. The bonus is that it activates the WNT pathway in ways promising for de novo hair growth. Lithium, for example, has been shown to be more effective than Nizoral (2% keto) in dealing with seb dem. No studies on hair loss, but it looks promising. Not to mention that lithium activates the WNT pathway in ways VERY promising for new hair growth.

  2. Follica, Inc is not a joke. WNT activation is VERY promising for hair loss. E.g., new research shows that DKK-1 is a bigger culprit than DHT in hair loss. But what is an antagonist of DKK-1? Lithium via the WNT pathway!

Best,
BB

» You know what I think? I think this whole thing won’t go very far. I think
» it’s a wet blanket.
»
» Look at the two words, “partial” and “rudimentary” in that abstract. This
» isn’t growing cosmetically acceptable hairs, people. This is growing
» dermal cysts (look up the term), proto-follicles, and other inchoate,
» partially-formed structures.
»
» At the end of the day I think this will be proved to be another false
» alarm. This is wall-to-wall hype – and I don’t care what scientists are
» involved, it’s HYPE.
»
» It may be mildly interesting from a purely scientific point of view, and
» some form of this may eventually end up as an adjunct or ‘promoter’ of
» some future version of HM (like HM version 3.0 or 4.0), but for now, this
» whole simplistic idea of “wounding + lithium” is of very little real
» interest in actually growing COSMETICALLY ACCEPTABLE HAIR ON YOUR HEAD.
»
» If this thing ever is made to generate cosmetically viable hair, it will
» be well after HM is already on the market.
»
» You heard it here first, folks, from ol’ JTR.


#6

BB,

My guess is that, at the end of the day, it’s going to turn out that just “activating the WNT pathway” on someone’s scalp by wounding the tissue and adding chemicals, will NOT be enough alone to regrow cosmetically significant amounts of hair. The individual hairs will not be of good enough quality, and it will be virtually impossible to get decent density and fullness using this kind of method.

At best, this might shake out to be a good adjunct or promoter of hair growth, like a Rogainish-type thing, which would be used in conjunction with cell-based HM. The HM would be the primary exponent of growth, and this might be something that improves it a bit. (But this would beg the question, if something is needed to improve the results of HM in some patients, why not just use Rogaine or Finasteride/Dutasteride?)

We shouldn’t get our hopes up about this. I do not see a “wounding plus chemicals” method as being synchronous with full heads of hair anytime in the foreseeable future.

I just think that Cotsarelis and Co. have discovered yet another way of SLIGHTLY improving the cellular mechanisms for promoting hair growth. It’s a very, very far cry between this and seeing people with full heads of hair.

Sometimes I think Cotsarelis has WAY too much time on his hands, and seems to be in a mad, frantic rush to outdo Aderans and Intercytex and “cross the finish line” before they do. He seems obsessed by the idea of coming up with something that is declared, once and for all, “the cure for MPB” by the media. There have been so many of these “headlines” from Cotsarelis – some of them looking like they were generated by Cotsarelis himself, contacting the media and using the words “baldness cure” as a teaser – that I am very, very dubious of anything new he comes out with, other than things connected with straight HM.

I realize that Cotsarelis is a scientific adviser to Aderans, and I don’t know the guy from Adam, but I get the gut feeling that this guy is on an almost panicked, 24/7 quest to get headlines and be declared the person who’s “cured baldness”.

Let’s put it this way. I don’t think anything outside of a cell-based therapy, where follicular cells are cultured and re-injected or re-implanted back into the scalp, is going to be the answer we’re looking for, for the foreseeable future. HM will come out well before any of these other pipe-dreams and “hopes”, and will be quantitatively far superior than anything like this.

The only other hope MIGHT be a precisely-targeted topical smart-drug, something like Osteoscreen OSH-101, which acts as a “trigger” to turn hair growth on, and even that will take a long time to get through the FDA because of potential systemic side-effects. (And everyone knows how dubious I am of topicals in general. But something like that MIGHT work.)


#7

Quick and Dirty:

What happened to all the other “discoveries” and false alarms of Dr. Cotsarelis? How many more will we see in the ensuing months and years before HM is on the market?

HM is our one, real, solid hope. All the other stuff, including this right now, seems to me to be pie-in-the-sky.


#8

» At best, this might shake out to be a good adjunct or promoter of hair
» growth, like a Rogainish-type thing, which would be used in conjunction
» with cell-based HM. The HM would be the primary exponent of growth, and
» this might be something that improves it a bit. (But this would beg the
» question, if something is needed to improve the results of HM in some
» patients, why not just use Rogaine or Finasteride/Dutasteride?)

The wounding plus WNT activation is a far cry from rogaine, which cannot even promise to grow hairs de novo.

» I just think that Cotsarelis and Co. have discovered yet another way of
» SLIGHTLY improving the cellular mechanisms for promoting hair growth.
» It’s a very, very far cry between this and seeing people with full heads
» of hair.

There have been much more than “slight” improvement – albeit in mice. But the promise is a full head of hair. This is much better than not just rogaine but even finas or dutas, which only block DHT but NOT the expression of DKK-1. t
» Sometimes I think Cotsarelis has WAY too much time on his hands, and seems
» to be in a mad, frantic rush to outdo Aderans and Intercytex and “cross the
» finish line” before they do. He seems obsessed by the idea of coming up
» with something that is declared, once and for all, “the cure for MPB” by
» the media. There have been so many of these “headlines” from Cotsarelis
» – some of them looking like they were generated by Cotsarelis himself,
» contacting the media and using the words “baldness cure” as a teaser –
» that I am very, very dubious of anything new he comes out with, other than
» things connected with straight HM.

Hey, I say the more scientists who want social status by being the “curer” of baldness, the better!

Gotta go now,
BB


#9

The verbiage so far really did describe hairs that were less than full-blown adult anagen hairs.

Fair is fair.

Like I have said, until someone acutually makes four of five needle holes in their frontal scalp ahead of the hairline, applies lithium chloride, and waits for four or five wild hairs that look terminal to pop up and extensivley photograph the whole thing, all we can do is guess.

BB, Im very aware of the University of Jena research into caffeine for Alpecin. They didn’t say (in a letter to me) that alpecin blocked alpha five reductase or DHT. They merely claimed it kept the CAMP-1 gene from being downregulated and that it was the energy messenger in dermal papilla cells. It “overcame” the effect of testosterone in Univ. of Jena experiments relative to un-androgenized controls (and some other Univ. over there also) when ex vivo hairs were cultivated for 96 hours.

Caffeine may merely be a growth stimulant by blocking some of the downstream effects of testoserone (DHT was not used in the experiment, just testosterone). The hair counts were up by 15 percent at four months in human trials. Minox will do this much. I dont know if the other ingredients in alpecin might help also or not however. It was only tested in humans for four months…thats my problem with the stuff.


#10

» BB, Im very aware of the University of Jena research into caffeine for
» Alpecin. They didn’t say (in a letter to me) that alpecin blocked alpha
» five reductase or DHT. They merely claimed it kept the CAMP-1 gene from
» being downregulated and that it was the energy messenger in dermal papilla
» cells. It “overcame” the effect of testosterone in Univ. of Jena
» experiments relative to un-androgenized controls (and some other Univ.
» over there also) when ex vivo hairs were cultivated for 96 hours.

Yes, good points. I never read the actual study, just the abstracts. Caffeine doesn’t inhibit actually DHT but it does have an apparent “protective effect”. As far as needling/Lithium/DMSO – that’s a different procedure than the one outlined in the 2006 paper. Plus mice versus humans. But my biggest concern is that needling isn’t the kind of wounding needed. The only way I’ll do the needling is if the Intercytex results really suck :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

I think caffeine is just something random they threw in as a “stimulant”, because it has a general stimulatory effect on almost all cellular physiology. The thinking is that it will speed up anything that’s already going on.