Hair follicle markers: Modulation of markers can impact expression of follicle components

August 1, 2009

The modulation of hair follicle components through the activation of ATP and cAMP can positively impact the structures in hair follicles.

Key Points

According to one expert, a better understanding of hair biology and the potentiation of the intricate interactions of the various hair follicle components through future topical therapies can, ultimately, be instrumental in improving hair vitality and regeneration of hair.

"Understanding the roles of different hair follicle components and the possibilities for acting on them are key challenges in hair biology.

Scalp grafts

In the study, human scalp skin grafts were placed in immersion on a culture insert and fed with a specific organ culture medium.

Two molecules were then applied to the skin graft samples for 48 hours, one activating cAMP (IV08.012) and the other activating ATP (IV08.011). At the end of incubation, the skin samples were prepared for immunohistochemical evaluation.

Results

Results showed that those skin samples that were stimulated with cAMP demonstrated an increase in keratin 14, 15 and 16 in the outer root sheath, as well as an increase in collagen IV and laminin-332.

According to Dr. Domloge, the increase in keratin not only can positively impact hair growth, but also its quality.

Furthermore, the increase in collagen and laminin-332 could be helpful in the reinforcement of the basement membrane, as well as a better communication between the outer root sheath and the dermal sheath; hence, better quality of the anchoring of the hair.

Those skin graft samples that were stimulated with ATP showed a modulation of several different hair follicle markers including beta-1 integrin, fibronectin, Ki67 and P63, suggesting an optimized cell-matrix adhesion and enhanced cell signaling in the hair follicle.

Dr. Domloge also adds that there was an effect of ATP on beta-1 integrin and P63 (both potential markers for hair follicle stem cells), as well as on Ki67 (proliferative potential) expression, which could be very positive in terms of hair renewal and growth cycle maintenance.

Active ingredients

According to Dr. Domloge, these two active ingredients have already been shown to be energy boosters, and are proven to increase cells' energy level as well as their synthesis and metabolism.

Therefore, in most studies that are geared to elucidate pathways leading to improved hair growth and healthier hair, Dr. Domloge explains, the energy in the hair follicle could be of central interest, as energizing the hair follicle is key in improving its overall function.

"We found that the two molecules we applied to the skin samples in vitro activated the follicular units, resulting in a positive modulation of hair follicle components, which may be all-conducive to an improvement in hair follicle function, maintenance and growth," Dr. Domloge says.

According to Dr. Domloge, these results lay a foundation toward potential topical hair deep care and treatments. Future therapies could potentially achieve a better quality of the hair shaft as well as a stronger, vitalized and more energized hair follicle.