A cell-based system for screening hair growth-promoting agents
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Androgen-inducible transforming growth factor β (TGF-β1) derived from dermal papilla cells (DPCs) is a catagen inducer that mediates hair growth suppression in androgenetic alopecia (AGA). In this study, a cell-based assay system was developed to monitor TGF-β1 promoter activity and then used to evaluate the effects of activated TGF-β1 promoter in human epidermal keratinocytes (HaCaT). To accomplish this, a pMetLuc-TGF-β1 promoter plasmid that expresses the luciferase reporter gene in response to TGF-β1 promoter activity was constructed. Treatment of HaCaT with dihydrotestosterone, which is known to be a primary factor of AGA, resulted in a concentration-dependent increase in TGF-β1 promoter activity. However, treatment of HaCaT with the TGF-β1 inhibitor, curcumin, resulted in a concentration-dependant decrease in TGF-β1 expression. Subsequent use of this assay system to screen TGF-β1 revealed that HaCaT that were treated with apigenin showed decreased levels of TGF-β1 expression. In addition, treatment with apigenin also significantly increased the proliferation of both SV40T-DPCs (human DPCs) and HaCaT cells. Furthermore, apigenin stimulated the elongation of hair follicles in a rat vibrissa hair follicle organ culture. Taken together, these findings suggest that apigenin, which is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties, stimulates hair growth through downregulation of the TGF-β1 gene. In addition, these results suggest that this assay system could be used to quantitatively measure TGF-β1 promoter activity in HaCaT, thereby facilitating the screening of agents promoting hair growth.
KeywordsTGF-β1 Hair growth Apigenin Dermal papilla cell Hair follicle
This research was financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science Technology (MEST), and Korean Industrial Technology Foundation (KOTEF) through the Human Resource Training Project for Regional Innovation.
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