Scientists from the U.S. and Brazil claim to have identified the biological mechanism of hair graying due to stress. The discovery could eventually help to stop this process without resorting to hair coloring, informs BBC.
People used to think that gray for two reasons: age and great grief, fear and pain. Any money from him except for the paint, not yet invented.
Now it is scientifically confirmed: in the course of experiments, researchers from the universities of Harvard and Sao Paulo has proven that the production of the substance melanin that give color to hair and skin, respond to certain stem cells (melanocytes), and that they are intensively destroyed by stress. The results of their study published in the journal Nature.
Men and women can start to gray at any age after 30 years. The timing and the pace of this process are determined mainly by heredity: what age gray your parents can tell when it happens to you.
A role in this play and experience stress, but until now, scientists do not fully understand how exactly it affects the discoloration of the hair.
The discovery was made by chance: conducting experiments on mice, the researchers noticed that the dark color in rodents experiencing intense fear or pain, changed to completely white in a few weeks.
Pain or strong negative emotions cause the body to release adrenaline and cortisol, causing increased heart rate, spikes blood pressure, as well as killing the melanocytes contained in the hair follicles.
“We always knew that high stress is harmful to the body, but I had no idea how, says Harvard Professor I Ties. — And most importantly, we now understand how this mechanism works”.
Pain and fear of the dark mouse sat for a few weeks, while the pigment-producing cells completely die out in the early days.
“Once these cells die off completely, restore pigmentation is impossible, the damage is irreversible,” he says.
Comparing the genes of test subjects and did not participate in the experiment of mice, the researchers found that the chemical reactions leading to destruction of the melanocytes due to the presence of certain proteins — cyclin-dependent kinases.
In the course of further experiments it turned out that they block the action of some drugs commonly used to reduce the pressure.
Blocking these proteins were allowed to stop discoloration of the fur in mice.
The results of the study give hope for the creation of an effective “cure bloom” — as stress and age.
In interview Bi-bi-si Professor I Ties warned that science is only at the very beginning of this way and that to restore the natural color of the hair of those who had turned gray, apparently, will not succeed.
In addition, according to the Professor, this study gives an idea about how stress can negatively affect different parts of the body.
IN THE UNITED STATES