Oleanolic acid (OA), a pentacyclic triterpenoid compound which can be found in >1600 plants, has been shown to promote hair growth. To study the mechanisms of OA on hair growth, we investigated hair follicle (HF) growth on four different concentration OA using human hair follicle organ culture model. We found that HFs treated with 1 or 10μg/mL OA showed statistically enhanced elongation of the hair shaft and anagen-like stage. Moreover, higher positive rate of Ki-67, a matrix cellular marker of proliferation, was detected in the same groups treated with 1 or 10μg/mL than those treated with vehicle. We further demonstrated that β-catenin, a key Wnt signaling transducer, was highly expressed in the OA treated groups using immunofluorescence stain assay. These results suggest that OA may promote human hair growth by stimulating hair matrix cell proliferation through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Keywords: Hair follicle organ culture; Hair matrix cells; Oleanolic acid; β-Catenin.
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