L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate represses the dihydrotestosterone-induced dickkopf-1 expression in human balding dermal papilla cells

Exp Dermatol. 2010 Dec;19(12):1110-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2010.01143.x.


Recent studies suggested that dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-driven alteration in the autocrine and paracrine factors may be a key to androgen-potentiated balding. Also, we recently claimed that DHT-inducible dickkopf-1 (DKK-1) is one of the key factors involved in the androgen-potentiated balding. Here, we investigated whether L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (Asc 2-P), a derivative of L-ascorbic acid, could attenuate DHT-induced DKK-1 expression in dermal papilla cells (DPCs) from balding scalp. We observed that DHT-induced DKK-1 mRNA expression was attenuated in the presence of Asc 2-P as examined by RT-PCR analysis. In addition, we found that DHT-induced activation of luciferase reporter activity was significantly repressed when Asc 2-P was added together with DHT. Moreover, Asc 2-P repressed DHT-induced DKK-1 protein expression as examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Although there will be many hurdles to apply our finding to actual remedies, these results suggest that it would be worthy to evaluate Asc 2-P or its derivatives for the treatment and prevention of androgen-driven balding.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / drug therapy
  • Alopecia / pathology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dihydrotestosterone / pharmacology*
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Hair Follicle / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / drug effects
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism


  • DKK1 protein, human
  • Growth Substances
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • ascorbate-2-phosphate
  • Ascorbic Acid