Experimental dermatology

Ageing processes influence keratin and KAP expression in human hair follicles.

PMID 21569108


In many cultures, a youthful look is strictly linked to strong and healthy hair. Source of the hair fibre is the hair follicle, a highly specialized skin appendage. Biological alterations because of intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli can destabilize this perfectly organized system, thus effecting hair growth or metabolism. Also, ageing could be characterized as a disturbance in this well-balanced machinery. Albeit the predominant symptom of hair ageing, greying, is addressed in a plurality of research activities, further age-related changes, e.g. related to hair structure, remain obscure. Therefore, we characterized hair follicles of two volunteer panels (below 25 years, above 50 years) on the molecular level, especially focussing on alterations influencing gene expression of keratins and keratin-associated proteins. We showed that concordantly to other biological systems the hair follicle undergoes several modifications during the ageing process associated among others with a significant decline in these structural proteins. Providing strategies to fight against these age-related changes is a challenge for hair science.