Hair plays important roles, ranging from the conservation of body heat to the preservation of psychological well-being. Hair loss or alopecia affects millions worldwide and can occur because of aging, hormonal dysfunction, autoimmunity, or as a side effect of cancer treatment. Methods that can be used to regrow hair are highly sought after, but lacking. Here we report that hair regeneration can be stimulated by small molecules that activate autophagy, including the longevity metabolites α-ketoglutarate and α-ketobutyrate, and the prescription drugs rapamycin and metformin which impinge on TOR and AMPK signaling.
Chai, Min and Jiang, Meisheng and Vergnes, Laurent and Fu, Xudong and de Barros, Stéphanie C. and Jiao, Jing and Herschman, Harvey R. and Crooks, Gay M. and Reue, Karen and Huang, Jing, Hair Regeneration by Small Molecules That Activate Autophagy (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3188356 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3188356