Hairscience Projects / Aiming for autophagy in hair physiology
Autophagy research gained worldwide attention in 2016, with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for the discovery of the molecular principles that regulate autophagy, a crucial process of self-degradation and recycling of cell organelles which occurs in all cells of our body and is particularly important in rapid proliferation and in stressed cells.
Autophagy plays a vital role in maintaining cell and tissue functions and is important as a source of energy, especially during stress and adaptive responses. Since the hair follicle is a highly proliferating mini organ, which not only consumes a lot of energy but also lasts for a long time (years), the pre-clinical research backed by Giuliani has therefore considered the intriguing hypothesis that autophagy could be needed to support hair follicles of the scalp during the anagen phase. Indeed, this line of research quickly demonstrated that autophagy is truly at its peak in human scalp hair follicles during the anagen phase and abruptly decreases during the catagen phase.
Furthermore, if the ability of the hair follicle to undergo autophagy is reduced by silencing a key gene necessary for this process, the hair follicle leaves the anagen phase and regresses, i.e. it goes back into the catagen state.
This means that sufficient autophagy is required for the human hair follicle to grow optimally.
Finally, this cutting-edge R&D strategy in human hair research has shown how nutritional supplements containing spermidine can effectively regulate intra-follicular autophagy and thus promote hair growth by prolonging the anagen phase.
This is an elegant way of moving Giuliani’s innovative, dedicated R&D strategy towards translational hair research, with a focus on developing truly innovative, effective and well-tolerated products that stimulate hair growth, heading back to where it all began: the development of spermidine. A nutritional supplement that promotes hair growth.
Staying true to this highly successful tradition of research, Giuliani continues its quest for other nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals that stimulate autophagy and therefore hair growth.