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Int J Cancer. 2012 Sep 1;131(5):E813-21. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27379. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Treatment for chemotherapy-induced alopecia in mice using parathyroid hormone agonists and antagonists linked to a collagen binding domain.

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Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Children's Hospital at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10467, USA.


Parathyroid hormone (PTH) agonists and antagonists have been shown to improve hair growth after chemotherapy; however, rapid clearance and systemic side-effects complicate their usage. To facilitate delivery and retention to skin, we fused PTH agonists and antagonists to the collagen binding domain (CBD) of Clostridium histolyticum collagenase. in-vitro studies showed that the agonist fusion protein, PTH-CBD, bound collagen and activated the PTH/parathyroid hormone-related peptide receptor in SaOS-2 cells. The antagonist fusion proteins, PTH(7-33)-CBD and PTH([-1]-33)-CBD, also bound collagen and antagonized PTH(1-34) effect in SaOS-2 cells; however, PTH(7-33)-CBD had lower intrinsic activity. Distribution studies confirmed uptake of PTH-CBD to the skin at 1 and 12 hr after subcutaneous injection. We assessed in vivo efficacy of PTH-CBD and PTH(7-33)-CBD in C57BL/6J mice. Animals were depilated to synchronize the hair follicles; treated on Day 7 with agonist, antagonist, or vehicle; treated on Day 9 with cyclophosphamide (150 mg/kg i.p.) or vehicle; and sacrificed on Day 39. Normal mice (no chemo and no treatment) showed rapid regrowth of hair and normal histology. Chemo+Vehicle mice showed reduced hair regrowth and decreased pigmentation; histology revealed reduced number and dystrophic anagen/catagen follicles. Chemo+Antagonist mice were grossly and histologically indistinguishable from Chemo+Vehicle mice. Chemo+Agonist mice showed more rapid regrowth and repigmentation of hair; histologically, there was a normal number of hair follicles, most of which were in the anagen phase. Overall, the agonist PTH-CBD had prominent effects in reducing chemotherapy-induced damage of hair follicles and may show promise as a therapy for chemotherapy-induced alopecia.

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