Control of Human Hair Growth by Neurotrophins: Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Inhibits Hair Shaft Elongation, Induces Catagen, and Stimulates Follicular Transforming Growth Factor β2 Expression

    Eva M.J. Peters, Marit G. Hansen, Rupert W. Overall, Motonobu Nakamura, Paolo Pertile, Burghard F. Klapp, Petra C. Arck, Ralf Paus
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    TLDR Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) slows down hair growth and promotes hair follicle regression.
    The document from April 1, 2005, presents a study on the effects of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) on human hair growth. The study found that BDNF, at a concentration of 50 ng/mL, significantly inhibited hair shaft elongation, induced premature catagen development, and inhibited keratinocyte proliferation in organ-cultured human anagen hair follicles. BDNF also upregulated the expression of Transforming Growth Factor β2 (TGFB2), a known inducer of catagen. The induction of catagen by BDNF was partially reversible with the co-administration of TGFB-neutralizing antibody, indicating that BDNF/TrkB signaling may promote the transition from anagen to catagen partly through TGFB2 upregulation. These findings suggest that BDNF/TrkB signaling could be a potential target for therapeutic hair growth modulation. The number of hair follicles used in the study was not specified.
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