The Janus kinase, also known as JAK, finished its signal pathway’s outline 20 years ago. The JAK family is composed of four tyrosine kinase affiliates (JAK 1, JAK 2, JAK 3, and Tyk 2). These tyrosine kinase affiliates convert cytokine-induced signals via Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcriptions (STATS).
The outline of the JAK-STAT signal led the way for the discovery of useful JAK inhibitor drugs as a potential medication for Alopecia Areata, hair loss problems, cancers, and other skin problems. Since that time, a lot of studies have continued to understand the signal details including post-modifications, protein interactions, physiological effects, and transcriptional regulations.
Columbia University recently released its newest findings on the study of JAK inhibitors for hair loss, and the reports were published in the Science Advances Journal. The latest findings have revealed the new potentials of two JAK inhibitor drugs, ruxolitinib and tofacitinib, in treating Alopecia Areata (AA) and other types of hair loss problem.
These drugs are known to suppress the functionality of the Janus kinase family within the body. JAK enzymes have an important role in the hair growth cycle and abnormal activity of the Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcriptions (STATS), which can result in several health ailments including hair loss.
The Columbia University used two bald rats in their study: one sample was for the application of tofacitinib and ruxolitinib was applied on the other sample. The initial study was referenced in treating Alopecia Areata or an autoimmune condition that results in patchy hair loss up to complete baldness.
After five days of application, an impressive outcome was revealed as the two rats got plenty of hair or the hair growth turned into the Anagen Phase again. The hair of seven-week old wild mice completely regrew within ten days. There are three cycles when it comes to hair growth: Anagen Phase (growing stage), Catagen Phase (transitioning stage), and Telogen Phase (resting stage)
The exact reason behind the Alopecia Areata (AA) problem is still unknown, but sudden shock and stress are contributing factors towards the turned of hair growth cycle into telogen phase. However, other hair loss problems tend to be due to an individual’s lifestyle or genetic factors. This is where natural JAK inhibitors can be of help.
Columbia University recommends further studies on the topical application of tofacitinib and ruxolitinib to secure other hair loss problems such as male pattern baldness and hair fall among women. The university also clarified that the long-term effect and safety of the newly discovered medication are not yet proven, and further research must be done.
Tofacitinib and Ruxolitinib Progress
In 2014, Columbia University released the Jakabi Ruxolitinib tablets as a promising small-scale trial for treating Alopecia Areata. The study involved the thorough investigation of the effectivity of the myelofibrosis drug. It entailed two JAK inhibitors for hair loss. Three men with 30 percent hair loss due to Alopecia Areata were treated and used as a sample. They took the capsules within four months and experienced a full regrowth of hair.
On the other hand, tofacitinib was discovered accidentally by Yale University when they were treating a patient diagnosed with plaque psoriasis. They were investigating the potential of tofacitinib for the said ailment, and it happened that the patient was also suffering from hair loss due to Alopecia Areata. The patient no longer experienced hair regrowth for seven years but after seven months of trials, the patient experienced full hair regrowth.
Tofacitinib (Xeljanz) already received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for rheumatoid arthritis treatment, but the other use of the said compound for other types of ailments is still not safe. Recently, drug manufacturer Pfizer released a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for plaque psoriasis, but the FDA blocked the said medication due to concerns about the drug’s safety. The company released a statement saying that they are planning to work with the FDA to address all the issues including the safety of the sNDA. Despite the incident, the study on tofacitinib as a main component in treating hair loss pattern and Alopecia Areata is still continuing.
It is a milestone for medical researchers in the world of JAK inhibition after the discovery of Columbia University towards the effectiveness of topical application of ruxolitinib and tofacitinib rather than oral medication. The results only prove that direct application is faster and more effective than taking an oral dose of either tofacitinib or ruxolitinib in treating Alopecia Areata.
This study can be a stepping stone towards a more comprehensive research focusing on the safety and long-term effects of two natural JAK inhibitors. Thus, it will open a study focusing on the treatment of female hair fall and male baldness pattern through topical application.
Litsea Glutinosa Has a Natural JAK Inhibitor
There are seven STAT family members, STAT1 – STAT6 with STAT5A and STAT5B as the two independent genes encoded. Out of these seven STAT, STAT 3 and STAT5 are most common in human bodies especially in cases of leukemia, solid tumors, alopecia areata, and hair loss. The Litsea Glutinosa, or also known as Lawat, prevents hair loss and the thinning of hair. It promotes hair regrowth, and it also relieves skin inflammation and itchiness. The Glutinosa came from a tree that has leaves which contain Brevilin A which is a natural JAK inhibitor.
In the Philippines, these leaves are normally used by indigenous people to clean the scalp and thicken hair. The Brevilin A which is the main composition of Litsea Glutinosa contains essential fatty acid but it is naturally produced within the body. The fatty acid is a “food” to the scalp that rejuvenates everything from hair roots to the tips. This natural JAK inhibitor is better than artificial conditioners or other hair regrown products as the VCO extracts are absorbed easily by the human scalps.
The Brevilin A is found to be effective for STAT3 signal inhibition which is normally found in men and women who have excessive hair loss conditions. In the study published at National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) & US National Library of Medicine website, it was found that Litsea Glutinosa blocks STAT3 signaling in cancer cells. The study opened the door for a more comprehensive research about Brevilin A as a JAK inhibitor for hair loss and an effective inhibitor for cancer cells which may result in the increase of survival rates among cancer patients. People who have hyperactivated JAKs and STATs are prone to Alopesia Areata and cancer cells, but with the help of Brevilin A, the STAT3 signal can be blocked.
JAK2 and Tyk2 can also be inhibited by Brevilin A but another study conducted has also revealed the effectiveness of Brevilin A towards the STAT1 signaling. Early research has proved that Brevilin A inhibits the STAT3 signaling, but no study has yet been conducted with STAT1. Research published at the Research Gate website shows that Brevilin A is an effective inhibitor for STAT1 signaling. The experiments showed that STAT1 phosphorylation decreased the target gene IRF1 with the help of Brevilin A substance. To view the detailed and comprehensive studies at Research Gate Net website, visit their website.
Studies regarding JAK inhibitors for hair loss and natural JAK inhibitors are still in progress. However, the initial findings are promising enough as basis for further research that can greatly help hair loss problems and other conditions.