The Androgen Receptor Antagonizes Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling in Epidermal Stem Cells

    November 2015 in “Journal of Investigative Dermatology
    Kai Kretzschmar, Denny L Cottle, Pawel J. Schweiger, Fiona M. Watt
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    TLDR Androgen receptor activity blocks Wnt/β-catenin signaling, affecting hair growth and skin cell balance.
    The study from November 1, 2015, investigated the role of androgen receptor (AR) signaling in epidermal stem cells and its interaction with Wnt/β-catenin signaling, particularly in the context of hair follicle (HF) growth and sebaceous gland (SG) identity in adult mouse skin. The results showed that AR activation inhibits β-catenin-dependent transcription and HF growth, while AR inhibition enhances β-catenin effects, leading to increased HF proliferation and differentiation, and even the formation of benign HF tumors. The study suggests that AR signaling is crucial for maintaining the balance between different cell lineages in the epidermis by antagonizing Wnt/β-catenin signaling. The experiments involved a small sample size, with 3 to 4 mice per condition, and the findings have potential implications for understanding human hair follicle disorders.
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