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Exp Dermatol. 2007 Sep;16(9):762-9.

Prostaglandin metabolism in human hair follicle.

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Centre Charles Zviak, L'Oreal Recherche, 90 rue du Général Roguet, Clichy Cedex, France.


Prostaglandins regulate a wide number of physiological functions. Recently PGF(2alpha) analogue such as latanoprost was shown to have a real impact on hair regrowth. The aim of this study was to investigate and describe the expression profile in human hair follicle of prostaglandin metabolism key enzymes, i.e. carbonyl reductase-1 (CBR1), microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-2 (mPGES-2), cytosolic prostaglandin E synthase (cPGES), the aldoketoreductase AKR1C1 and the prostaglandin F synthase AKR1C3. Quantitative RT-PCR on plucked hair follicles revealed some sex-related differences, mPGES-2 and AKR1C3 expression levels being higher in women. Cell and hair follicle compartment specificity was investigated using Western blot, PGE(2) and PGF(2alpha) ELISA assays and immunohistochemistry. Most of the hair cell types were endowed with prostaglandin metabolism machinery and were thus able to produce PGE(2) and/or PGF(2alpha). The epithelial part of the hair bulb was identified by immunohistology and EIA assays as the main source of prostaglandin synthesis and interconversion. All these observations support the concept that prostaglandins might be involved in hair growth and differentiation control.

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