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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 Mar;16(3 Pt 2):657-68.

Action of topical minoxidil in the bald stump-tailed macaque.


The effect of topical minoxidil (5% and 2% solutions) on hair regrowth was studied in the frontal bald scalp of 18 adolescent and adult stump-tailed macaques (Macaca arctoides). Gross observation of the hairiness and folliculogram analysis of the skin biopsy specimens have shown that minoxidil induces the enlargement of vellus follicles to the size of middle to terminal follicles (regrowth of hair effect), minoxidil maintains the terminal follicles in the prebald scalp of periadolescent animals (prevention of baldness effect), enlarged follicles regress after minoxidil is withdrawn, and hair follicular growth is once again stimulated when treatment with minoxidil is reinstituted. Hair regrowth was more prominent in the early stage of baldness among younger macaques than in baldness of longer duration in older animals. An in vitro study of 3H thymidine uptake revealed that the hair follicles in minoxidil-treated macaque skin showed significant enhancement of deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis in the follicular and perifollicular cells but not in the epidermal keratinocytes. Furthermore, the uptake of 3H minoxidil and its conversion to minoxidil sulfate (the active metabolite producing vasodilation) was relatively higher in the hair follicles than in the epidermis and dermis. Serum concentration of minoxidil was fairly constant 2, 4, 6, 15, and 24 hours after a single application (averaging 15 ng/ml with 5% minoxidil). Minoxidil's essential action in hair follicular growth may be as a potent vasodilator. However, a direct action on the hair follicle cannot be ruled out considering uptake and conversion of the drug to minoxidil sulfate within the hair follicle itself.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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