eISSN: 2299-0046
ISSN: 1642-395X
Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postępy Dermatologii i Alergologii
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vol. 37
Letter to the Editor

The impact of oxidative stress in the androgenic alopecia in women

Anna Cwynar
Dorota M. Olszewska-Słonina
Rafał Czajkowski

Adv Dermatol Allergol 2020; XXXVII (2): 119-120
Online publish date: 2020/03/09
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Androgenic alopecia (AGA) is one of the most common forms of female pattern baldness, and the incidence of this disease entity increases with age. It is estimated that AGA occurs in about 10% of women in the pre-menopausal period and in 50–75% after the age of 65 [1].
The diagnosis of AGA in women is difficult. No reference diagnostic method has been developed so far which would be helpful both in diagnosis and monitoring of treatment of this form of alopecia. One of the basic examinations is the trichological analysis which allows to assess the percentage of hair at particular stages of growth [2]. Another parameter helpful in the diagnosis of AGA is the determination of the level of hormones in the blood – free and total testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone and oestrogens. However, the androgen levels in AGA patients may be increased or normal [1].
In androgenic alopecia, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) stimulates the secretion of hair growth inhibitory factors, such as the transforming growth factor b1 and 2 (TGF-b1/p2) [3]. The study by Upton et al. has shown that in vitro culture of dermal papilla (DP) cells, derived from the scalp of male patients with AGA, undergoes premature aging. The main cause of this process is oxidative stress and the gradual accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells, resulting in the loss of their function. ROS mediate in response to DHT and growth factors, which in turn may affect growth factor signalling in the cell [3].
This study aims to investigate oxidative stress in female patients with AGA and in healthy controls by measuring the levels of plasma and erythrocyte malondialdehyde (MDA), the level of the ceruloplasmin (CER) and the activity of paraoxonase 1 (PON1). The study included 12 AGA female patients (mean age: 46.8 ±13) and the control group consisting of 25 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers (mean age: 32.7 ±11). There was no significant body mass index (BMI) difference between groups.
Plasma and erythrocyte MDA levels were higher in female patients with AGA compared with controls (by 4.76% and 10.99%, respectively), but these differences were not statistically significant (p = 0.205; p = 0.909). However, a significant increase was observed in CER levels (p = 0.015) in the studied group compared with the controls. In contrast, the activity of PON1 was significantly reduced (p = 0.038) in the studied group compared with the healthy volunteers (Table 1).

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