Androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss. Minoxidil has been approved for the treatment of hair loss, however its mechanism of action is still not fully clarified. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the effects of 5% minoxidil topical foam on gene expression and activation of signaling pathways in vertex and frontal scalp of men with androgenetic alopecia. We identified regional variations in gene expression and perturbed signaling pathways using in silico Pathway Activation Network Decomposition Analysis (iPANDA) before and after treatment with minoxidil. Vertex and frontal scalp of patients showed a generally similar response to minoxidil. Both scalp regions showed upregulation of genes that encode keratin associated proteins and downregulation of ILK, Akt, and MAPK signaling pathways after minoxidil treatment. Our results provide new insights into the mechanism of action of minoxidil topical foam in men with androgenetic alopecia.
Keywords: androgenetic alopecia; gene expression; hair loss; minoxidil; signaling pathways.