Dermal Fibrosis, a Critical Factor in MPB

      The following studies reinforce what researchers from L’Oreal and Nestle found some time ago, that is that perifollicular fibrosis (the formation or development of excess fibrous connective tissue, i.e. scar tissue, in an organ or tissue as a reactive process) plays a central role in Androgenetic Alopecia. This fibrosis is in response to DHT mediated inflammation.

      It also sheds light on the involvement of mast cells in that process-that the presence of mast cells is two fold higher in those with Male Pattern Hair Loss.

      Scalp fibrosis, depending on its duration and severity, can be purportedly addressed a number of different ways. Laser therapy, Scalp wounding, i.e. dermarollers, scalp needling (there *is* some science behind this approach) and chemical/enzyme peels have all been experimentally used by some with varying degrees of success to specifically break up scalp fibrosis as part of a comprehensive treatment approach. While there have been some anecdotal reports of hair regrowth with these novel methods, there is no data available as of yet to evaluate its effects.

      By far the easiest and most economical way to address and prevent fibrosis body wide, including dermal fibrosis of the scalp, is the oral (not topical) use of the amino acid, Taurine. As previously published in our prior updates, L’Oreal and Nestle combined in a joint venture to design the Taurine/Green Tea/Zinc combo called “Hair Mass.” “Hair Mass" was specifically created to maintain the “mass” of hair as one ages.

      Both Taurine and Green Tea also appear to inhibit or reduce mast cells, likely contributing to its positive effects on hair growth.

      Durk Pearson, the M.I.T. educated author of Life Extension, who has pronounced genes for MPB, formulated Root Food, a Taurine/Cysteine based hair vitamin, and has maintained all and even improved the density of his hair (albeit gray) over the last 25 yrs. Also of interest in that formula is the high dose of Niacinamide, (150 mg in a daily dose) which significantly reduces the mast cells associated with this process.

Arch Dermatol Res. 2008 Mar;300(3):147-52. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

Dermal fibrosis in male pattern hair loss: a suggestive implication of mast cells.
Won CH, Kwon OS, Kim YK, Kang YJ, Kim BJ, Choi CW, Eun HC, Cho KH.

Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Chongno-Gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

A relationship has been suggested between mast cells (MCs) and male pattern hair loss (MPHL), because of histological evidence of perifollicular fibrosis and increased mast cell numbers. Two paired punch biopsies were taken from balding vertexes and non-balding occipital promontory areas of ten patients with MPHL (Ludwig-Hamilton IIIv to IV) and from five normal subjects aged from 20 to 35 years. Masson trichrome and Victoria blue staining were performed to observe collagen frameworks and elastic fiber structures. Numbers of immunoreactive MCs stained with anti-tryptase or anti-chymase antibody were counted. It was found that collagen bundles were significantly increased in balding vertexes than in non-balding occiput scalp skin. A near 4-fold increase in elastic fibers was observed in both vertex and occiput scalp skins with MPHL versus controls. Total numbers of MCs (tryptase-positive) in site-matched scalp samples were about 2-fold higher in MPHL subjects than in normal controls. Percentage elastic fiber (%) was found to be relatively well-correlated with tryptase and chymase-positive MCs. These findings suggest that accumulated MCs might be responsible for increased elastic fiber synthesis in MPHL, and indicate that future investigations are warranted.

Acta Histochem. 2007;109(3):208-14. Epub 2007 Feb 6.

Taurine ameliorates stress-induced degeneration of the urinary bladder.
Zeybek A, Sağlam B, Cikler E, Cetinel S, Ercan F, Sener G.

Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey.

We studied the potential effects of taurine, a free radical scavenger, on chronic water avoidance stress (WAS)-induced degeneration of the mucosa of the urinary bladder in experimental rats. Wistar albino rats were exposed to WAS for 2h/day, for 5 days (WAS group). Before exposing them to WAS, taurine (50mg/kg) (WAS+taurine group) was injected intraperitonally into the animals. Samples of urinary bladder were then investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Lipid peroxidation and gluthathione levels were also measured in the urinary bladder. In the WAS-only group, inflammatory cell infiltration, increased number of mast cells in the mucosa and ulcerated areas were observed. In the WAS+taurine group, relatively normal urothelial topography with microvilli, moderate inflammatory cell infiltration and decreased numbers of mast cells in the mucosa were observed. The increased lipid peroxidation and decreased glutathione levels in WAS rats were reversed by taurine treatment. We conclude that taurine protects against WAS-induced oxidant urinary bladder injury, and thus may be a possible therapeutic agent against interstitial cystitis, the symptoms of which are aggravated by stress conditions.

Exp Mol Med. 2005 Aug 31;37(4):290-6.

Inhibitory effects of epigallocatechin gallate on compound 48/80-induced mast cell activation and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis.
Li GZ, Chai OH, Song CH.

Department of Anatomy and Research Center for Allergic Immune Diseases, Chonbuk National University, Medical School, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Korea.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a principle phenolic antioxidant found in a variety of plants, including green and black tea. The anti-allergic effect of EGCG is unknown. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of EGCG on compound 48/80-induced mast cell activation and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. For this, the influences of EGCG on the compound 48/80-induced cutaneous reaction were measured in vivo and the effects of EGCG on the compound 48/80-induced mast cell activations were examined in vitro. Results are below: as 1) EGCG significantly inhibited compound 48/80-induced passive cutaneous anaphylaxis, 2) the compound 48/80-induced degranulation, calcium influx and histamine release of rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMCs) were significantly inhibited by the pretreatment with EGCG, and 3) the compound 48/80-mediated inhibition of cAMP level in RPMCs was significantly increased by the pretreatment with EGCG. These results suggested that EGCG, the most abundant polyphenol in green tea, inhibits the compound 48/80-induced mast cell activation and the increase of vascular permeability, and potentially serve as effective therapeutic tools for allergic diseases.

      Comment: Fibrosis is a factor in hair loss that warrants intervention in any treatment regime. It is likely oral Taurine in a high enough dose ( 500mg or more) will prevent and offset fibrosis in its earlier stages. For more severe long standing fibrosis/hair loss, taurine combined with some the aforementioned methodologies may turn the corner on hair loss that is typically deemed to have a poor treatment prognosis.

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