Oxidative Damage Control in a Human (Mini-) Organ: Nrf2 Activation Protects against Oxidative Stress-Induced Hair Growth Inhibition

    Iain S. Haslam, Laura Jadkauskaite, Imre Szabó, Selma Staege, Jasper Hesebeck-Brinckmann, Gail Jenkins, Ranjit Bhogal, Fei Ling Lim, Nilofer Farjo, Bessam Farjo, Tamás Bı́ró, Matthias Schäfer, Ralf Paus
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    TLDR Activating Nrf2 protects human hair follicles from oxidative stress and helps prevent hair growth inhibition.
    The study from February 1, 2017, investigated the protective effects of Nrf2 activation against oxidative stress in human scalp hair follicles (HFs). Researchers used sulforaphane (SFN) to activate Nrf2 in cultured HFs and observed that this activation modulated genes involved in oxidative stress response, leading to reduced levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation. Additionally, Nrf2 activation prevented the premature transition to the catagen phase and inhibited hair growth caused by oxidative stress. The study also found that Nrf2 activation decreased keratinocyte apoptosis and maintained proliferation within the HFs. These results suggest that Nrf2 plays a critical role in safeguarding human HFs from oxidative damage. The study's findings were supported by data from 3-6 individual donors and were statistically significant, with p-values less than 0.05, 0.01, and 0.001.
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