Hydroxytyrosol prevents dermal papilla cells inflammation under oxidative stress by inducing autophagy

J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2019 Sep;33(9):e22377. doi: 10.1002/jbt.22377. Epub 2019 Jul 23.


Hydroxytyrosol (HT), a primary phenolic antioxidant in olive oil, can afford protection from oxidative stress (OS) in different cells, including skin cells. In particular, it regulates several inflammation-associated processes as well as in improving the antioxidant defense system. However, there is no information about HT used in the treatment of hair loss. This work aimed at exploring the potential protective actions of HT against OS in rat dermal papilla cells. After treatment, the related expression of protein and messenger RNA were detected using morphological and molecular analyses. The results showed that HT significantly reduced intracellular reactive oxygen species level, apoptotic markers and inflammation induced by OS and enhanced cell survival by regulating autophagy. Furthermore, HT enhanced the secretion of hair growth factors in the anti-inflammation process. These results suggest that HT has a significant protective ability against OS and encourage the use of this biological ingredient as a possible tool to prevent alopecia.

Keywords: autophagy; hair growth; hydroxytyrosol; inflammation; oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Autophagy / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Hair / drug effects
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / drug effects*


  • Antioxidants
  • 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol