Androgens and hair loss

Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2009 Jun;16(3):246-53. doi: 10.1097/med.0b013e32832b100a.


Purpose of review: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) or male pattern hair loss is a very common condition that has a significant psychosocial impact for patients. Many advances in the pathogenesis and treatment of AGA have been discovered recently. We discuss the pathogenesis and treatment of AGA.

Recent findings: Wide genome analysis showed an association of AGA and chromosome 20pll in addition to androgen-receptor gene. Also, a locus on chromosome 3q26 was found to have a linkage with AGA. Dutasteride has been shown to be more effective than finasteride in the treatment of AGA but is not yet a recommended therapy. In an in-vitro study, a new topical liposomal finasteride formulation showed more than five-fold higher deposition of drug in skin than the corresponding plain drug solution.

Summary: These recent developments in the field of AGA hold some promise and may play a role in the future management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Alopecia / diagnosis
  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Alopecia / metabolism*
  • Alopecia / therapy
  • Androgens / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Azasteroids / administration & dosage
  • Dutasteride
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Finasteride / administration & dosage
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Hair / drug effects
  • Hair / transplantation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minoxidil / administration & dosage
  • Risk Factors
  • Testosterone / metabolism*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Androgens
  • Azasteroids
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Testosterone
  • Finasteride
  • Minoxidil
  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase
  • Dutasteride