I recently came across a medication called Periostat for the treatment of periodontitis. I don’t know why, but I had never heard of Periostat before. Anyhow, Periostat works in gum disease by inhibiting MMP (and thus collagenase), thereby preventing gum involution. After a quick search, I was shocked to find out what Periostat actually was: micro-dose oxycycline! That’s right, a tetracycline antibiotic. The amount of doxycycline in Periostat is low enough that it is unable kill bacteria. In this case, it acts by MMP-inhibition.
As I have posted in the past, minocycline has been touted by some doctors as an effective treatment for halting MPB (minocycline also inhibits MMP). I can attest to this, since I have tried it myself and found to be the most effective treatment that I’ve tried to date. However, full doses of minocycline did a number on my brain (headaches, etc.). I am wondering now if micro-doses of either doxycycline or minocycline would be effective in MPB. The low doses may also limit the extent of side-effects.
Here is the last sentence of the abstract below:
“….CONCLUSIONS: Cytokine- and EGF-induced upregulation of MMP-9 in the lower epithelial compartment of the human hair bulb is a major mechanism through which hair follicle involution, observed in alopecia, may occur.”
Identification of clustered cells in human hair follicle responsible for MMP-9 gelatinolytic activity: consequences for the regulation of hair growth.
Int J Dermatol 2001 Jun; 40(6):385-92.
BACKGROUND: The control of human hair follicle growth and differentiation is dependent upon several well-identified factors, including androgens, cytokines, and growth factors. In humans, alopecia androgenetica is a common aging process thought to be regulated through complex genetic imbalances, which also involve several of these crucial identified factors (and probably others not yet characterized), alone or in combination. Among these factors, epidermal growth factor (EGF), as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines, play a pivotal role, as evidenced by their direct inhibitory effects on hair growth both in vitro and in vivo. Following such treatments, the in vitro growth of hair follicles was rapidly arrested and deleterious modifications of hair morphology were also observed.
AIM: Because these cytokines act, at least partly, through the induction of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), and because tissue remodeling occurs during the hair cycle, we attempted to identify and localize MMP in the human pilosebaceous unit. METHOD: We used zymography to observe human hair follicles in culture in vitro. RESULTS: We observed that human hair follicles in culture in vitro mainly and almost exclusively produce MMP-2 and MMP-9 gelatinolytic activities. Furthermore, after stimulation with EGF, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), or interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha), MMP-9 production was strongly increased.
Using immunohistochemistry, we then precisely localized MMP-9 in the lower part of the inner root sheath (Henle’s layer) of control human anagen hair follicles. CONCLUSIONS: Cytokine- and EGF-induced upregulation of MMP-9 in the lower epithelial compartment of the human hair bulb is a major mechanism through which hair follicle involution, observed in alopecia, may occur.
*Kevin Davis is a frequent and valued contributor to internet newsgroups for hairloss.