Substantial sex-dependent differences in the response of human scalp hair follicles to estrogen stimulation in vitro advocate gender-tailored management of female versus male pattern balding.
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
In this study, it was investigated how estrogens (17-beta-estradiol, E2) affect the estrogen receptor (ER) expression and gene regulation of male versus female human scalp hair follicles in vitro. Anagen VI follicles from frontotemporal scalp skin were microdissected and organ-cultured for up to 9 d in the presence of E2 (1-100 nm). Immunohistochemistry was performed for ERbeta-expression, known to be predominant in human scalp hair follicles, and for TGF-beta2-expression (as negative key hair growth modulator), and E2-responsive genes in organ-cultured human scalp hair follicles (48 h, 10 nM) were explored by cDNA microarray, using a commercial skin focus chip (Memorec, Cologne, Germany). The distribution pattern of ERbeta and TGF-beta2-immunoreactivity differed between male and female hair follicles after 48 h culture. Of 1300 genes tested, several genes were regulated sex-dependent differently. The study reveals substantial sex-dependent differences in the response of frontotemporal human scalp hair follicles to E2. Recognition and systematic dissection of the E2-dependent gene regulation will be crucial for the development of more effective, gender-tailored management strategies for female versus male pattern balding.
PMID: 16382674 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]