Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Dermatology. 2001;203(2):157-61.

Alopecia areata and affected skin CRH receptor upregulation induced by acute emotional stress.

Author information

1
A. Syggros Hospital for Dermatologic Diseases, University of Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent evidence indicates that acute stress can precipitate a number of dermatological conditions, including alopecia areata. This effect may be mediated by corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) released locally in the skin from dorsal root ganglia or immune cells. CRH typically acts through activation of specific receptors that are either type 1 or types 2 alpha and 2 beta. CRH, or related peptides such as urocortin, could have proinflammatory effects directly or through activation of mast cells leading to destruction of the hair root.

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the expression of CRH receptors on the affected skin of patients who developed alopecia areata following acute emotional stress.

METHODS:

Scalp skin biopsies were obtained from 1 normal volunteer and 3 patients after ring infiltration of the relevant site with lidocaine. The biopsies were frozen and were later processed for in situ hybridization for CRH receptors type 1 or types 2 alpha and 2 beta. Sections showing positive results were photographed.

RESULTS:

The skin from the normal volunteer showed weak background expression of all three receptor types. However, skin from the affected sites of all 3 patients studied showed intense expression only on the type 2 beta receptor around the hair follicles.

CONCLUSION:

Acute emotional stress may precipitate alopecia areata by activation of overexpressed type 2 beta CRH receptors around the hair follicles leading to intense local inflammation.

PMID:
11586016
DOI:
10.1159/000051732
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center