Metformin, an Activator of AMPK, Promotes the Growth of Hair Follicles via the AMPK/β-catenin Signaling Pathway

    Moon Hye Rim, Park Ki-Young, Hyunil Kang, Lee Woo Jin, Chong‐Hyun Won, Sung‐Eun Chang, Mi-Woo Lee, Jee‐Ho Choi, 박경훈
    TLDR Metformin helps hair growth by affecting cell signals related to hair follicle development.
    In 2019, a study was conducted to investigate the effects of metformin, an AMPK activator, on hair growth. The study found that metformin increased the cellular proliferation of human dermal papilla (DP) and outer root sheath (ORS) cells, which are crucial for hair growth. The study also found that metformin treatment significantly increased Ki-67 expression, a marker of cell proliferation, in the ex vivo hair follicle organ culture. Furthermore, metformin treatment led to a significant increase in AMPK phosphorylation, which suppressed β-catenin degradation and enhanced its nuclear accumulation, promoting hair growth. The study concluded that metformin promoted hair growth via the AMPK/β-catenin signaling pathway in vitro with DP and ORS cells, suggesting potential use of AMPK activators for the treatment of alopecia.
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