Topical or systemic 16, 16 dm prostaglandin E2 or WR-2721 (WR-1065) protects mice from alopecia after fractionated irradiation

Int J Radiat Biol. 1992 Apr;61(4):533-7. doi: 10.1080/09553009214551291.


Our previous studies in mice demonstrated that systemic or topical 16,16 dm PGE2 protected against single dose radiation-induced hair loss. We have now investigated prostaglandin, or WR-2721, protection against murine alopecia produced by varying doses and schedules of fractionated radiation. On days one to eight after hair was plucked from the thighs of B6D2F1 mice, groups of 6 animals each were given daily exposures of 4.0 or 4.5 Gy for 5 days; 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 or 5.5 Gy for 10 days; or 2 Gy for 15 days. One hour before irradiation each mouse received 10 microgram 16,16 dm PGE2, either by subcutaneous injection into the neck or topical application, 8 mg WR-2721 by injection, or 0.3 mg WR-1065 by topical application. Three weeks later counts of regrowing hairs were recorded from excised skin samples. For the radioprotectors used, hair regrowth was increased 25-100% in the various radiation groups in comparison to irradiated-only control sites. In some studies with the radioprotector given systemically, WR-2721 afforded slightly greater radioprotection than 16,16 dm PGE2. The two compounds were essentially equally radioprotective in the topical application studies. Since both systemic and topical applications of the agents tested enhanced hair regrowth following radiation, we conclude that clinical use of these compounds may provide some protection of hair follicles, and perhaps other tissues, lying within a radiation therapy field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 16,16-Dimethylprostaglandin E2 / administration & dosage
  • 16,16-Dimethylprostaglandin E2 / therapeutic use*
  • Administration, Topical
  • Alopecia / prevention & control*
  • Amifostine / administration & dosage
  • Amifostine / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Amifostine
  • 16,16-Dimethylprostaglandin E2