Latanoprost and isopropyl unoprostone, which are analogues of prostaglandin F2alpha (PGF2alpha), are promising drugs for the reduction of intra-ocular pressure. However, they have been reported to have side effects, including hypertrichosis and hyperpigmentation of the eyelashes and periocular skin, and occasionally poliosis. In order to investigate these effects further, PGF2alpha, latanoprost and isopropyl unoprostone were applied to the dorsal skin of 7-week-old C57BL/6 mice, and hair length was measured during the treatment. The three molecules all showed stimulatory effects on the murine hair follicles and the follicular melanocytes in both the telogen and anagen stages, and stimulated conversion from the telogen to the anagen phase. PGE2 is known to act synergistically with PGF2alpha, and hence the influence of PGE2 was also examined. PGE2 did not induce distinct telogen-to-anagen conversion, but showed moderate growth stimulatory effects on early anagen hair follicles. In addition, we observed a case of hypertrichosis and trichomegaly with an excess of melanogenesis, leading to the emergence of white hair, suggesting that poliosis can occur as a side effect of eye treatment with solutions of PGF2alpha analogues. The stimulatory effects of PGF2alpha and PGE2 on hair growth have been discussed with regard to the role of protein kinase C and mast cells.
What does this mean?
This study showed that increasing scalp PGF2alpha not only stimulated increased hair growth but also increased the length of time each hair stayed in the scalp before shedding.
How can we increase scalp PGF2alpha?
In the study the researchers used the eye medication Latanoprost (brand name Xalatan), which is a medication used to reduce pressure in the eye. Interestingly another eye medication, Bimatoprost, has also been used to stimulate hair growth with significant results.
Latanoprost can be purchased very cheaply but requires a prescription. Since it is not readily available for public use I will investigate alternative methods for increasing PGF2alpha.
More to follow.