Human placenta induces hair regrowth in chemotherapy-induced alopecia via inhibition of apoptotic factors and proliferation of hair follicles

BMC Complement Med Ther. 2020 Jul 20;20(1):230. doi: 10.1186/s12906-020-03025-z.


Background: The human placenta (HP) is a complex organ used to alleviate tiredness and promote wound healing. Previous research showed the hair growth-promoting effect of HP. However, no reports have addressed the effects of HP on hair regrowth in chemotherapy-induced alopecia. In this study, we investigated the effects of HP on the apoptosis and proliferation of hair follicles in chemotherapy-induced alopecia.

Methods: Male C57BL/6 mice in telogen were depilated to enter anagen. After 9 days, dystrophic catagen was induced by the intraperitoneal injection of 150 mg/kg cyclophosphamide. During 9 to 16 days, 0.1 and 1 mg/mL HP were topically applied to depilated dorsal skin.

Results: Dystrophic hair follicles by cyclophosphamide were recovered by HP treatment. New hair shafts containing hair fibers appeared to be straight after HP treatment. Immunohistological staining revealed a significant increase of Ki67-positive cells in hair follicles treated with 1 mg/mL HP. Topical HP treatment increased the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax, while it attenuated the expression of pro-apoptotic Bax, p53, and cytochrome c with caspase-9 and -3. In addition, the expression of KGF and the phosphorylation of AKT were upregulated by HP treatment.

Conclusion: These results suggest that HP treatment induced hair growth by inhibiting apoptosis and promoting the proliferation of hair follicles. HP may be useful for treating chemotherapy-induced alopecia.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Chemotherapy-induced alopecia; Hair follicle; Human placenta; Proliferation.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Alopecia / chemically induced
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / adverse effects
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hair Follicle / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Placenta*
  • Pregnancy


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Cyclophosphamide