Effect of Dieckol, a component of Ecklonia cava, on the promotion of hair growth

Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(5):6407-6423. doi: 10.3390/ijms13056407. Epub 2012 May 23.


This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Ecklonia cava, a marine alga native to Jeju Island in Korea, on the promotion of hair growth. When vibrissa follicles were cultured in the presence of E. cava enzymatic extract (which contains more than 35% of dieckol) for 21 days, E. cava enzymatic extract increased hair-fiber length. In addition, after topical application of the 0.5% E. cava enzymatic extract onto the back of C57BL/6 mice, anagen progression of the hair-shaft was induced. The treatment with E. cava enzymatic extract resulted in the proliferation of immortalized vibrissa dermal papilla cells (DPC). Especially, dieckol, among the isolated compounds from the E. cava enzymatic extract, showed activity that increased the proliferation of DPC. When NIH3T3 fibroblasts were treated with the E. cava enzymatic extract and the isolated compounds from the E. cava enzymatic extract, the E. cava enzymatic extract increased the proliferation of NIH3T3 fibroblasts, but the isolated compounds such as eckol, dieckol, phloroglucinol and triphlorethol-A did not affect the proliferation of NIH3T3 fibroblasts. On the other hand, the E. cava enzymatic extract and dieckol significantly inhibited 5α-reductase activity. These results suggest that dieckol from E. cava can stimulate hair growth by the proliferation of DPC and/or the inhibition of 5α-reductase activity.

Keywords: 5α-reductase activity; C57BL/6 mice; Ecklonia cava; dermal papilla cells; dieckol; hair growth; vibrissa follicle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Benzofurans / administration & dosage*
  • Benzofurans / pharmacology
  • Cell Extracts
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Hair Follicle / drug effects*
  • Hair Follicle / enzymology
  • Hair Follicle / metabolism
  • Laminaria / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vibrissae / cytology*
  • Vibrissae / drug effects


  • Benzofurans
  • Cell Extracts
  • dieckol
  • Oxidoreductases