2014 Volume 37 Issue 5 Pages 755-763
This study was conducted to test whether ginsenoside F2 can reduce hair loss by influencing sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) and the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) pathway of apoptosis in dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-treated hair cells and in a DHT-induced hair loss model in mice. Results for ginsenoside F2 were compared with finasteride. DHT inhibits proliferation of hair cells and induces androgenetic alopecia and was shown to activate an apoptosis signal pathway both in vitro and in vivo. The cell-based 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay showed that the proliferation rates of DHT-treated human hair dermal papilla cells (HHDPCs) and HaCaTs increased by 48% in the ginsenoside F2-treated group and by 12% in the finasteride-treated group. Western blot analysis showed that ginsenoside F2 decreased expression of TGF-β2 related factors involved in hair loss. The present study suggested a hair loss related pathway by changing SCAP related apoptosis pathway, which has been known to control cholesterol metabolism. SCAP, sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) and caspase-12 expression in the ginsenoside F2-treated group were decreased compared to the DHT and finasteride-treated group. C57BL/6 mice were also prepared by injection with DHT and then treated with ginsenoside F2 or finasteride. Hair growth rate, density, thickness measurements and tissue histotological analysis in these groups suggested that ginsenoside F2 suppressed hair cell apoptosis and premature entry to catagen more effectively than finasteride. Our results indicated that ginsenoside F2 decreased the expression of TGF-β2 and SCAP proteins, which have been suggested to be involved in apoptosis and entry into catagen. This study provides evidence those factors in the SCAP pathway could be targets for hair loss prevention drugs.