Prevention and treatment of alopecia areata with quercetin in the C3H/HeJ mouse model
- 353 Downloads
Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune non-scarring hair loss disorder. AA can be acute, recurrent, or chronic. Current therapeutic options for AA are limited, and there is no effective prevention for recurrent AA. We have previously shown a correlation between the expression of HSP70 (HSPA1A/B), a heat shock protein involved in the inflammatory response, and the onset of AA in the C3H/HeJ mouse model. In this study, we tested the effects of quercetin, a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory properties, on AA development and HSP70 expression in the C3H/HeJ model. Mice with spontaneous AA were treated with subcutaneous quercetin or sham injections. Hair regrowth was observed in lesional areas in all the quercetin-treated mice, but in none of the sham-treated mice. In addition, non-alopecic C3H/HeJ mice were heat-treated to induce alopecia, along with quercetin or sham injections. Whereas 24% of the heat-treated mice with sham injections developed alopecia, none of the mice receiving quercetin injections did. As expected, the level of HSP70 expression in quercetin-treated areas was comparable to control. Furthermore, we showed that systemic delivery of quercetin by intraperitoneal injections prevented/reduced spontaneous onset of AA. Our results demonstrated that quercetin provided effective treatment for AA as well as prevention of onset of AA in the C3H/HeJ model, and warrant further clinical studies to determine whether quercetin may provide both treatment for preexisting AA and prevention of recurrent AA. The ready availability of quercetin as a dietary supplement may lead to increased patient compliance and positive outcomes for AA.
KeywordsAlopecia areata C3H/HeJ HSP70 Heat shock Quercetin
Heat shock protein
Heat shock protein 70
- IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10
Interleukins 1, 2, 6, 10
Insulin-like growth factor 1
Major histocompatibility complex
Nuclear factor kappa B
Psoralen and ultraviolet A
Transforming growth factor beta 1
Tumor necrosis factor alpha
T helper 1
T helper 2
We gratefully acknowledge the Locks of Love Foundation (J.J.J.) for their support in this investigation. T.C.W. is supported by a Career Development Award from NIH/NIAMS (AR-050487).
Conflict of interest
The authors state no conflict of interest.
- Egert S, Wolffram S, Schulze B, Langguth P, Hubbermann EM, Schwarz K, Adolphi B, Bosy-Westphal A, Rimbach G, Muller MJ (2011) Enriched cereal bars are more effective in increasing plasma quercetin compared with quercetin from powder-filled hard capsules. Br J Nutr. doi: 10.1017/s0007114511003242
- Gregoriou S, Papafragkaki D, Kontochristopoulos G, Rallis E, Kalogeromitros D, Rigopoulos D (2010) Cytokines and other mediators in alopecia areata. Mediators Inflamm 2010:928030Google Scholar
- Harwood M, Danielewska-Nikiel B, Borzelleca JF, Flamm GW, Williams GM, Lines TC (2007) A critical review of the data related to the safety of quercetin and lack of evidence of in vivo toxicity, including lack of genotoxic/carcinogenic properties. Food Chem Toxicol 45:2179–2205PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McElwee KJ, Hoffmann R, Freyschmidt-Paul R, Wenzel E, Kissling S, Sundberg JP, Zoller M (2002) Resistance to alopecia areata in C3H/HeJ mice is associated with increased expression of regulatory cytokines and a failure to recruit CD4+ and CD8+ cells. J Invest Dermatol 119:1426–1433PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar