In vivo hair growth-stimulating effect of medicinal plant extract on BALB/c nude mice

Author(s): Begum S, Gu LJ, Lee MR, Li Z


Context: Chrysanthemum zawadskii var. latilobum (Asteraceae) (CZ) and Polygonum multiflorum Thunb. (Polygonaceae) (PM) have been used traditionally to treat different systemic diseases and acclaimed for various biological activities including hair growth.

Objective: This study investigates the hair restoration efficacy of selected medicinal plant extracts on nude mice.

Materials and methods: Nude mice genetically predisposed to pattern balding were used in this study. Topical methanol extracts of CZ and PM (10 mg/mouse/d) with standardized vehicle formulation, only vehicle (propylene glycol:ethanol:dimethyl sulfoxide, 67:30:3% v/v) and Minoxidil (2%) were applied daily for 40 consecutive days.

Results: In our study, the maximum hair score (2.5 ± 0.29) was obtained in the CZ-treated group. Histological observation revealed a significant increase (p < 0.001) in the number of hair follicles (HF) in CZ-treated mice (58.66 ± 3.72) and Minoxidil-treated mice (40 ± 2.71). Subsequently, immunohistochemical analysis also confirmed the follicular keratinocyte proliferation by detection of BrdU-labeling, S-phase cells in Minoxidil and CZ-treated mouse follicular bulb and outer root sheaths.

Conclusion: Our study revealed the underlying mechanism of stimulating hair growth in athymic nude mice by repair the nu/nu follicular keratin differentiation defect. Thus, the topical application of CZ may represent a novel strategy for the management and therapy of certain forms of alopecia.

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