Dihydrotestosterone Regulates Hair Growth Through the Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway in C57BL/6 Mice and In Vitro Organ Culture

    January 2020 in “ Frontiers in Pharmacology
    Xianyan Chen, Ben Liu, Ying Li, Le Han, Xin Tang, Wenjia Deng, Wei Lai, Miaojian Wan
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    TLDR Dihydrotestosterone affects hair growth by changing the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, with low levels helping and high levels hindering growth.
    The study explored the role of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in hair growth, focusing on its effects on the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in both human scalp hair follicles (HFs) in vitro and C57BL/6 mice in vivo. Human scalp HFs from 12 volunteers were treated with DHT at concentrations ranging from 10^-5 to 10^-9 mol/L, and the effects on hair growth and related protein expression were measured. The results showed that low DHT concentrations (10^-7 mol/L) promoted HF growth and increased β-catenin/p-GSK-3β expression, while high concentrations (10^-5 mol/L) had the opposite effect. The use of a β-catenin inhibitor and activator further demonstrated the pathway's role in HF growth regulation. The study concluded that DHT regulates hair growth in a concentration-dependent manner through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, with low levels being beneficial and high levels detrimental to HF growth. The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the raw data is available for further analysis.
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