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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Feb;278(2):E202-10.

17beta-estradiol and ICI-182780 regulate the hair follicle cycle in mice through an estrogen receptor-alpha pathway.

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  • 1Molecular and Cellular Toxicology, Department of Toxicology, Physiological Sciences and Radiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.


Estradiol (E(2)) applied topically twice weekly to mouse skin at doses as low as 1 nmol inhibited hair growth by blocking the transition of the hair follicle from the resting phase (telogen) to the growth phase (anagen). In contrast, application of </=10 nmol of other steroids produced limited inhibition. Topical treatment with the estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist ICI-182780 reversed the effects of E(2), and when applied alone, ICI-182780 caused a telogen-to-anagen transition. Both E(2) and ICI-182780 were highly effective at their site of application but not at distant sites, indicating the direct rather than secondary systemic nature of their effects. Western analysis detected a 65-kDa ER-alpha immunoreactive dermal protein, and Northern analysis revealed the presence of a 6.7-kb ER-alpha mRNA. A ribonuclease protection assay confirmed the presence of ER-alpha transcripts but failed to detect ER-beta transcripts. These findings implicate a skin-specific ER-alpha pathway in the regulation of the hair follicle cycle.

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