Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

“Bold baldies”: PNAS hair growth paper embargo lifted early after Sydney Morning Herald story posts

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pnas 42From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) press office this morning:

Due to an embargo break, PNAS is lifting the embargo early on the following paper. All other articles are under the scheduled embargo:

•     Triggering human hair follicle growth

Researchers have triggered the development of human hair follicles from dermal papilla cells grown as spheroids in 3D culture conditions in the laboratory. Previous studies have established that adult rodent dermal papillae, which control hair follicle growth, can be grown in the laboratory, transplanted into recipient skin, and made to trigger new hair follicles and fibers. Yet more than four decades later, a similar feat – using lab-grown human hair follicle dermal cells to trigger the growth of human hair – has remained elusive. Angela Christiano and colleagues performed gene expression analysis on cultured human dermal papilla cells and found that growth in standard monolayer cultures alters the cells’ gene expression profiles. Hence, the authors used hanging-drop cultures to induce the aggregation of dermal papilla cells from seven human donors, inserted the resulting 3D dermal spheroids between the epidermis and dermis of neonatal foreskin in laboratory dishes, and grafted the recombined structure onto the backs of mice. The authors report that the 3D culture conditions helped partially restore the cells’ normal gene expression signatures and hair-inducing properties: After 6 weeks of implantation, new hair follicles from five of the seven donors were seen in the implanted skin. Microarray analysis revealed that 22% of gene transcripts perturbed by 2D culture were restored by growth as spheroids. Further, the authors identified an array of gene switches that control signaling mechanisms underlying hair development. Future studies might reveal whether dermal papilla spheroids represent a promising approach to human hair restoration, but the current findings suggest that the spheroids might help to discover drugs that affect hair papilla function and to predict clinical responses to hair loss treatments, according to the authors.

Article #13-09970: “Microenvironmental reprogramming by three-dimensional culture enables dermal papilla cells to induce de novo human hair-follicle growth,” by Claire Higgins et al.

PNAS tells us:

We found a story published ahead of the embargo in The Sydney Morning Herald. We are investigating the circumstances of the break.

That story, which seems to have had a headline “New Hope For Bold Baldies” based on the URL, appears to have been taken down.


Written by Ivan Oransky

October 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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