Oxidative stress in androgenetic alopecia

J Med Life. Jan-Mar 2016;9(1):79-83.


Rationale:Androgenetic alopecia is not considered a life threatening disease but can have serious impacts on the patient's psychosocial life. Genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors are considered responsible for the presence of androgenetic alopecia. Recent literature reports have proved the presence of inflammation and also of oxidative stress at the level of dermal papilla cells of patients with androgenetic alopecia Objective:We have considered of interest to measure the oxidative stress parameters in the blood of patients with androgenetic alopecia Methods and results:27 patients with androgenetic alopecia and 25 age-matched controls were enrolled in the study. Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC), malondialdehyde (MDA) and total thiols levels were measured on plasma samples. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT) activities, and also non protein thiols levels together with TEAC activity were determined on erythrocytes samples No statistically significant changes were observed for TEAC erythrocytes, non-protein thiols, GPx and CAT activities. Significantly decreased (p<0.01) SOD activity was found in patients with androgenetic alopecia. For plasma samples decreased TEAC activity (p<0.001), increased MDA levels (p<0.001) and no change in total thiols concentration were found in patients when compared with the controls. Discussions:Decreased total antioxidant activity and increased MDA levels found in plasma samples of patients with androgenetic alopecia are indicators of oxidative stress presence in these patients. Significantly decreased SOD activity but no change in catalase, glutathione peroxidase, non protein thiols level and total antioxidant activity in erythrocytes are elements which suggest the presence of a compensatory mechanism for SOD dysfunction in red blood cells of patients with androgenetic alopecia.

Abbreviations: AAG = androgenetic alopecia, MDA = malondialdehyde, SOD = superoxide dismutase, CAT = catalase, GPx = glutathione peroxidase, GSH = glutathione, GST = glutathione transferase, SH = thiols, TEAC = trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, ABTS = 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), CDNB = 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene.

Keywords: androgenetic alopecia; antioxidants; erythrocytes; oxidative stress; trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia / metabolism*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase