Book a FREE consultation  
For a free consultation or assistance, please call 020 7730 6666

Browse by Category

Hair Loss Study to Investigate PAI-1 Protein in Follicles

An observational study aiming to investigate whether people with any form of non-scarring hair loss condition have increased levels of a specific protein within their hair follicles compared to control subjects of the same age but without hair loss, is currently recruiting participants.

Volunteers aged 18 to 60 will be drafted from patients seen at Northwestern Memorial Hospital or Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation physicians’ offices, which are affiliated to Chicago’s Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine where the study will take place.

Scalp Punch Device Used in FUE Hair TransplantsScalp biopsy required

Researchers will explore the protein PAI-1 and the extent to which it is expressed in test subjects both with and without non-scarring forms of hair loss, including male and female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia), telogen effluvium and the autoimmune condition alopecia areata.

Eleven of the selected participants will have a scalp biopsy using a 4 mm punch, similar to those used in FUE hair transplants. This will allow PAI-1 levels in the scalp’s skin tissue to be determined through immunohistochemical staining.

Following each biopsy the sample skin will be formalin-fixed overnight at room temperature, processed and embedded with paraffin. Sections measuring six microns in depth will be prepared and stored at room temperature.

The amount of active PAI-1 in each total tissue area will be measured using imaging software. After this, the levels of PAI-1 found in scalp tissues both with and without hair loss will be recorded and the results compared.

What is PAI-1?What is PAI-1?

The protein known as PAI-1, or Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1, is a serine protease inhibitor (serpin) which is mostly produced in the cells lining the blood vessels. It is critical to the fibrinolytic system and plays an important role in preventing blood clots.

Elevated levels of PAI-1 are found in people who are obese or who have a number of diseases, including various forms of cancer. It has also been linked to patients with these conditions developing thrombosis.

Potential implications

The study’s resulting findings could help to not only further understanding of the behaviour of hair follicles, but also aid development of the next generation of hair loss treatments for various conditions.

For instance, should researchers discover higher levels of PAI-1 expression in the follicles of people with hair loss, this could open up a new avenue in the development of future treatments. It will also be interesting to discover if there are significant differences in PAI-1 levels between each of the hair loss conditions – so whether, for example, people with Alopecia Areata have a higher, lower or no meaningful difference in PAI-1 levels when compared to those with genetic hair loss.

This study is due to conclude in December 2016 after which time researchers will analyse the gathered data and release their findings. We will publish these results as soon as they become available so do check back for updates to this story.

Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

Related Stories

Share this article

No Comments

No comments yet.

Comment on this article

* required field

Will not be published

Online Consultation

Submit an instant online consultation so that one of Belgravia’s hair loss specialists can diagnose your condition and recommend an effective course of treatment, wherever you live.

24 Oct

‘Severe Hair Loss After Using Nizoral Shampoo for Dandruff’

Name: Saja Question: My doctor give me nizoral shampoo to treat hair dandruff and it led to severe hair loss… I wish give me advise to stopping hair loss Answer: Hi, Saja. Although it is considered uncommon – affecting less than 1 in 100 people – Nizoral shampoo does list hair loss as a potential side effect. According to […]

Read full article »
24 Oct

Lupus Can Cause Rare Form of Hair Loss: Linear Non-Scarring Alopecia

An Indian boy who attended his local hospital to see if they could help with his hair loss was told by doctors that he didn’t have Alopecia Areata, as he may have first suspected, but an entirely different autoimmune disorder named Lupus Panniculitis. Lupus describes a number of conditions in which inflammation affects the body, […]

Read full article »
23 Oct

Alopecia Areata Genetic Links Emboldened Through Twins Studies

Dermatologists in Israel and Georgia have reported on what appears to be a unique case in which identical twin brothers experienced simultaneous hair loss not once but on two, separate occasions. The brothers, who are six, both lost hair to the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, which leads to bald patches that typically appear suddenly. While […]

Read full article »