Baldness of the head (or alopecia) – premature unwanted hair loss. This problem is faced by many people in adulthood, and some – in childhood. As German scientists found out, such a condition is called hypotricular simplex and is inherited from parents. The results of their discovery are published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Previously, scientists have already tried to understand the mechanisms of the occurrence of baldness. They found that people with hypotrichosis simplex are characterized by normal hair growth at birth. However, in early childhood, they begin to lose hair. A possible cause of childhood alopecia is a mutation in the APCDD1 gene, which interrupts the signals that regeneration is necessary and makes it difficult for the cell to divide.
In a new study, scientists from the University Hospital in Bonn (Germany) and their colleagues from other centers in Germany and Switzerland discovered another gene that plays a key role in the course of the hypotrichosis simplex.
Scientists analyzed the genetic information of people from three families that are not related to each other. Of these, about eight people experienced hair loss – lanugo (newborn fluff) hair on the head, rare eyebrows and eyelashes. As a result of research in all volunteers, scientists found mutations in the LSS gene. This gene encodes lanosterol synthase (LSS), an enzyme necessary for cholesterol biosynthesis. In addition, this substance affects the condition of the hair follicles. In a healthy organism, LSS is localized in the endoplasmic reticulum, or endoplasmic reticulum (EPR, ESR) – tiny channels inside the follicle cells, and for various disorders – outside the ESR. Researchers found that people with mutated LSS penetrate into the cytosol (intracellular fluid).
While scientists can not accurately explain the mechanism of the occurrence of hypotrichosis simplex. They admit that further research is needed in this area.