Content » Vol 77, Issue 5

Investigative Report

Expression of retinoid nuclear receptor superfamily members in human hair follicles and its implication in hair growth

Billoni N, Gautier B, Mahé YF, Bernard BA
DOI: 10.2340/0001555577350355


Since clinical evidence of hair loss and hair depigmentation following etretinate therapy has been reported, we decided to study the expression levels of several members of the retinoid nuclear receptor superfamily in dermal and epithelial compartments of the human hair follicle. Additionally, we evaluated the effects of several ligands for these receptors on human hair growth in culture in vitro. We observed that the cellular/ cytoplasmic retinoic acid (RA) binding protein-II and the retinoid-X-receptor-alpha were constantly and strongly expressed in both compartments at levels comparable to those of vitamin D receptor. In dermal papilla cells, by contrast with RAR beta which was always expressed, RAR alpha and RAR gamma were not constantly expressed. In dermal sheath fibroblasts, both RAR alpha, RAR beta and RAR gamma mRNAs were moderately expressed, while in the epithelial compartment, namely the plucked hair, we observed the expression of the same genes in the absence of RAR beta. We also observed that RAR agonists all-trans RA and CD367 inhibited the survival of human hair follicles in culture in vitro, while RXR agonist CD2425 stimulated hair growth and survival at levels comparable to those of 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, suggesting that RXR agonists might stimulate hair growth in humans in vivo.


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