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Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2007 Nov;98(9):603-10.

[Repigmentation of gray hair after thyroid hormone treatment].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Dermatología. Clínica Universitaria de Navarra. Pamplona. España.



Darkening of gray and white hairs occurred in 2 patients with increased exogenous triiodothyronine (T3) due to treatment of myxedema coma in one case and iatrogenic hyperthyroidism in the other. We hypothesized that thyroid hormone may affect the homeostasis of hair follicles. To test our hypothesis and investigate the influence of thyroid hormone on the hair cycle, we used an in vivo murine model and an in vitro model based on culture of follicular units.


We used the standard C57BL/6 murine model of the hair cycle. T3 (0.5 microg) dissolved in ethanol was applied topically once daily for 10 days to a depilated area in the telogen phase on the backs of the mice. Follicular units, obtained from hair transplant interventions, were cultured in vitro with different concentrations of T3.


On day 5, all T3-treated mice entered the anagen phase, whereas the anagen phase started spontaneously in control mice on day 9, and not until day 15 had all controls entered this phase. In the in vitro experiment, follicular units treated with 100 nmol/L T3 grew significantly larger compared to the control group.


These data suggest that follicles in the telogen phase can be induced to enter the anagen phase by the topical application of T3. This thyroid hormone may reverse graying of the terminal hair. In the in vitro experiments, T3 stimulated hair shaft growth. Follicular melanocytes may be the target cell for these actions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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