Do Prostaglandins Cause Baldness
Recently, there has been much excitement in the media around the discovery of prostaglandin PGD2 as a likely cause of male pattern baldness. Men with pattern baldness were found to have larger quantities of this compound in their scalp compared to non sufferers. Also, when follicles were isolated in a lab setting and given PGD2, they had less of an ability to grow hair.
Prostaglandins are made of fatty acids. And they play a role similar to hormones in the body. PGD2 is one example. There are others which do the opposite by helping hair to grow.
A PGD2 Drug?
Although it is hoped that blocking PGD2 will actually reverse the process of hair loss, there are already anti inflammatory pharmaceuticals which do this. However, their actions do not affect hair growth in any way.
Many people are hoping for a cure that would obliterate the signs of baldness. But there are multiple biochemical causes at work, making this a more complicated endeavor than imagined.
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The Research That Supports PGD2’S Role In Hair Loss
The research began with scientists who observed genetically modified mice that produced high amounts of cox-2, one of the precursor compounds in the pathway process, which leads to the production of PGD2. The mice displayed signs of androgenic alopecia with less hair, and enlarged sebaceous glands.
What researchers have found is that through specific genes for hair, protein receptors found in mice were used to determine whether the protein receptor PGD2 binds when it inhibits hair growth. The mice that did not have the GPR44 receptor showed the longest hair growth, compared to other receptors that were tested. That is why people were excited about the study. This is how patients made the assumption that PGD2 would reverse the process of hair loss.
Another prostaglandin, which is believed to impact hair development, is PGE2. It seems to support hair growth, however many experts believe that Rogaine helps to facilitate its activity as a medication used against hair loss. The studies show that PGE2 and PGD2 seem to have opposing effects. Pattern baldness in men show both high and low levels of PGD2 and PGE2.
How Is Androgenic Alopecia Characterized At The Cellular Level
- Stem cells are in tact
- Progenitor cells decrease
Progenitor cells are derived from stem cells and contribute to the formation of new hair.
Posted on: October 3, 2013,
by : admin