Oriental herb extract shown to be good candidate to treat hair loss

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Oriental herb extract shown to be good candidate to treat hair loss

Related tags: Hair, Protein, Hair follicle

Scientists have found that myristoleic acid, an active compound in Malva verticillata seeds, can activate Wnt reporter activity and increase cell proliferation in cultured human dermal papilla cells (DPC), making it a good candidate to treat hair loss.

This is the first study to report the bioactivity of a compound isolated from M. verticillata​ seeds for the treatment of hair loss, and the research team say that it shows promise as tests displayed it can modulate the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in DPCs.

The scientists from Korea, chose to focus on this area as mesenchymal–epithelial interactions are important in controlling hair growth and the hair cycle, publishing their study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science​.

In it, they say the β-catenin pathway of dermal papilla cells plays a pivotal role in morphogenesis and normal regeneration of hair follicles, and that deletion of β-catenin in the dermal papilla reduces proliferation of the hair follicle progenitor cells that generate the hair shaft and induces an early onset of the catagen phase.


To study this further, the team investigated a modulator of the Wnt/β-catenin activity in oriental herb extracts on cultured human DPCs.

The effect of the seeds was investigated by a Wnt/β-catenin reporter activity assay system (β-catenin–TCF/LEF reporter gene) and cell proliferation analysis.

The synthesis of the factors related to hair growth and cycling was measured at both the mRNA and the protein level by semi-quantitative PCR and Western blot analysis, respectively.

Their results showed that an extract from M. verticillata seeds increased Wnt reporter activity in a concentration-dependent manner and also led to increased β-catenin levels in cultured human DPCs.

Myristoleic acid, identified as an effective compound of M. verticillata seeds, stimulated the proliferation of DPCs in a dose-dependent manner and increased transcription levels of the downstream targets: IGF-1, KGF, VEGF and HGF.

 Myristoleic acid also enhanced the phosphorylation of MAPKs (Akt and p38).

“Overall, the data suggest that this extract of M. verticillata seeds could be a good candidate for treating hair loss by modulating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in DPCs,”​ says the study.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Hair Care

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