Hair cycle-specific expression of versican in human hair follicles

    September 2005 in “Journal of Dermatological Science
    Tsutomu Soma, Masahiro Tajima, Jiro Kishimoto
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    TLDR Versican, a protein, is less present in thinning hair follicles and this decrease might contribute to common hair loss in men.
    In 2005, researchers found that versican, a proteoglycan, is expressed in the dermal papilla of anagen phase hair follicles and is important for maintaining normal hair growth. The study showed that versican expression is significantly reduced in vellus-like hair follicles affected by male pattern baldness, suggesting a link between decreased versican levels and hair loss. The study involved hair follicle samples from seven males and two females, with an average age of 36, and confirmed the down-regulation of versican in more than 15 vellus-like follicles from three individuals. The findings indicate that versican's diminished expression in the dermal papilla of vellus-like follicles is associated with androgenic alopecia and that altering versican isoform expression in dermal papilla cells could potentially restore their hair inductive ability.
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