A potential suppressor of TGF-beta delays catagen progression in hair follicles

J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2003 Jun;8(1):65-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2003.12173.x.


TGF-beta plays important roles in the induction of catagen during the hair cycle. We examined whether TGF-beta2 could activate a caspase in human hair follicles. Using active caspase-9 and -3 specific antibodies, we found that TGF-beta2 activated these caspases in two regions, the lower part of the hair bulb and the outer layer of the outer root sheath. In addition, we searched for a plant extract that can effectively suppress TGF-beta action. We found that an extract of Hydrangea macrophylla reduced synthesis of a TGDbeta-inducible protein. We confirmed that the extract has a potential to promote hair elongation in the organ culture system. Furthermore, it delayed in vivo progression of catagen in a mouse model. Our results suggest that the induction of catagen by TGF-beta is mediated via activation of caspases and that a suppressor of TGF-beta could be effective in preventing male pattern baldness.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspase 9
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Culture Techniques
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Hair Follicle / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Hydrangea / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 / biosynthesis
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta2


  • Plant Extracts
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
  • TGFB2 protein, human
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta2
  • CASP3 protein, human
  • CASP9 protein, human
  • Casp3 protein, mouse
  • Casp9 protein, mouse
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspase 9
  • Caspases