Preventable effect of L-threonate, an ascorbate metabolite, on androgen-driven balding via repression of dihydrotestosteroneinduced dickkopf-1 expression in human hair dermal papilla cells

  • Kwack, Mi-Hee (Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Ahn, Ji-Sup (Dr. Ahn Medical Hair Clinic) ;
  • Kim, Moon-Kyu (Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Kim, Jung-Chul (Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Sung, Young-Kwan (Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University)
  • Received : 2010.07.28
  • Accepted : 2010.08.27
  • Published : 2010.10.31


In a previous study, we recently claimed that dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-inducible dickkopf-1 (DKK-1) expression is one of the key factors involved in androgen-potentiated balding. We also demonstrated that L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (Asc 2-P) represses DHT-induced DKK-1 expression in cultured dermal papilla cells (DPCs). Here, we investigated whether or not L-threonate could attenuate DHT-induced DKK-1 expression. We observed via RT-PCR analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that DHT-induced DKK-1 expression was attenuated in the presence of L-threonate. We also found that DHT-induced activation of DKK-1 promoter activity was significantly repressed by L-threonate. Moreover, a co-culture system featuring outer root sheath (ORS) keratinocytes and DPCs showed that DHT inhibited the growth of ORS cells, which was then significantly reversed by L-threonate. Collectively, these results indicate that L-threonate inhibited DKK-1 expression in DPCs and therefore is a good treatment for the prevention of androgen-driven balding.



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