Argan (Argania Spinosa) press cake extract enhances cell proliferation and prevents oxidative stress and inflammation of human dermal papilla cells

J Dermatol Sci. 2021 Jul;103(1):33-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2021.06.003. Epub 2021 Jun 8.


Background: Hair follicle undergoes a growth cycle under the regulation of dermal papilla cells. Due to their enormous roles, these fibroblast cells have been used in various in vitro studies as a screening model to evaluate the effect of hair growth regulating agents.

Objective: In the current study, we aim to check the hair growth potential effect of Argan press cake (APC) extracted using 50 or 80 % aqueous ethanol on human hair follicle dermal papilla cells (HFDPCs) and to determine the molecular mechanism.

Methods: APC were applied to HFDPCs, then cell proliferation assays, mitochondrial biogenesis assay, and oxidative stress assay were assessed. DNA microarray was performed from the cells treated with our samples and minoxidil. Validation of the results was done using Quantitative Real-Time PCR with primers for hair-growth related genes. GC/MS analysis was used to determine the compounds contained in APC 50 and 80 %.

Results: APC enhanced cell proliferation along with the stimulation of the ATP content. Additionally, APC had an anti-oxidant activity against H2O2 mediated oxidative stress preventing dermal papilla cell senescence. Consistent with this, global gene profiling analysis showed an activation of hair growth-related pathway, and a downregulation of inflammation- and oxidative stress-related genes by APC extracts. GC/MS analysis revealed that these extracts contained pure fatty acids, derived sugar chains, and pure compounds including tocopherols, squalene, and spinasterol.

Conclusion: Taken together, here we showed that APC extracts had an effect on stimulating hair growth while inhibiting the inflammation and the oxidative stress of HFDPCs and thus can potentially contribute to an anti-hair loss drug development.

Keywords: Argan press cake (APC); Argania spinosa; Dermal papilla; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Proliferation.

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Alopecia / immunology
  • Antioxidants
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Hair Follicle / drug effects*
  • Hair Follicle / immunology
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / immunology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Sapotaceae / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts