, 16:15 | Cite as

Sex-related differences in urinary immune-related metabolic profiling of alopecia areata patients

  • Yu Ra Lee
  • Haksoon Kim
  • Bark Lynn Lew
  • Woo Young Sim
  • Jeongae Lee
  • Han Bin Oh
  • Jongki HongEmail author
  • Bong Chul ChungEmail author
Original Article



Alopecia areata is a well-known autoimmune disease affecting humans. Polyamines are closely associated with proliferation and inflammation, and steroid hormones are involved in immune responses. Additionally, bile acids play roles in immune homeostasis by activating various signaling pathways; however, the roles of these substances and their metabolites in alopecia areata remain unclear.


In this study, we aimed to identify differences in metabolite levels in urine samples from patients with alopecia areata and healthy controls.


To assess polyamine, androgen, and bile acid concentrations, we performed high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry.


Our results showed that spermine and dehydroepiandrosterone levels differed significantly between male patients and controls, whereas ursodeoxycholic acid levels were significantly higher in female patients with alopecia areata than in controls.


Our findings suggested different urinary polyamine, androgen, and bile acid concentrations between alopecia areata patients and normal controls. Additionally, levels of endogenous substances varied according to sex, and this should be considered when developing appropriate treatments and diagnostic techniques. Our findings improve our understanding of polyamine, androgen, and bile acid profiles in patients with alopecia areata and highlight the need to consider sex-related differences.


Alopecia areata Polyamine Androgen Bile acid Immune 



This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Institutional Program (Grant No. 2E29290).

Author contributions

YRL and HK wrote the manuscript and performed the experiments. BLL and WYS contributed to the collection of essential samples. JL analyzed the data. HBO and JH designed the experiments. BCC supervised the research. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were approved by the Ethics Committee of the Kyung Hee University Medical center at Gangdong and approved by the institutional review board (IRB No. 2016-11-037-007) and performed in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all patients and controls prior to sample collection, and consent was obtained from a parent or legal guardian prior to participation by minors in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Recognition Research CenterKorea Institute of Science and TechnologySeoulKorea
  2. 2.KHU-KIST Department of Converging Science and TechnologyKyung Hee UniversitySeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of ChemistrySogang UniversitySeoulKorea
  4. 4.Department of DermatologyKyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Kyung Hee UniversitySeoulKorea
  5. 5.College of PharmacyKyung Hee UniversitySeoulKorea

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