Saturday, April 20, 2013


Effect of caffeine and testosterone on the proliferation of human hair follicles in vitro.


Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, Germany.



Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a common problem in men of all ages, affecting approximately 50% at 50 years of age. The underlying cause is an androgen-dependent miniaturization of genetically predetermined hair follicles. Here, the hair organ culture model was used to investigate the effects of testosterone and caffeine; the latter being a promising candidate for hair growth stimulation.


Hair follicles from 14 biopsies, taken from the vertex areas from male AGA patients, were cultivated for 120-192 h in vitro with normal William's E medium (control) or William's E medium containing different concentrations of testosterone and/or caffeine. Hair shaft elongation was measured daily and at the end of cultivation, cryosections of follicles were stained with Ki-67 to evaluate the degree and localization of keratinocyte proliferation.


Significant growth suppression was found in hair follicles treated with 5 microg/ml testosterone. This was counteracted by caffeine in concentrations of 0.001% and 0.005%. Moreover, caffeine alone led to a significant stimulation of hair follicle growth. These results were confirmed immunohistochemically by Ki-67 staining.


Androgen-dependent growth inhibition of ex vivo hair follicles from patients suffering from AGA was present in the human hair organ culture model, a constellation which may serve for future studies to screen new substances against androgen-dependent hair loss. Caffeine was identified as a stimulator of human hair growth in vitro; a fact which may have important clinical impact in the management of AGA.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Psoriasis Patients Have Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure

Psoriasis Patients Have Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure

Posted: April 15, 2013
The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) commends the World Health Organization (WHO) for raising awareness of the risks associated with high blood pressure and calls for healthcare professionals to regularly scan for the condition in patients with psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a serious, inflammatory, noncommunicable disease, affecting more than 125 million people all over the world. People with psoriasis are known to carry an increased risk of developing severe co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and psoriatic arthritis, as well as depression and even suicidal ideation. A number of studies also show that psoriasis is associated with greater prevalence of hypertension, one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
“Healthcare professionals need to recognize the elevated risk that people with psoriasis carry for developing high blood pressure, and include regular tests for hypertension and other known risk factors of cardiovascular disease for this patient group”, says Lars Ettarp, president of IFPA. “There are studies indicating that treating psoriasis early and efficiently lowers the risk for co-morbid conditions, such as high blood pressure, and this needs to be taken into account when developing a treatment regimen for an individual with psoriasis.”
This year’s World Health Day focused on the global health crisis of high blood pressure and how it can be prevented, treated and controlled. According to the WHO, complications of high blood pressure account for more than 9 million deaths worldwide per year and affects more than one in three adults. High blood pressure has been connected to a number of behavioral risk factors, such as high salt intake, excessive use of alcohol and physical inactivity.
However, it must also be acknowledged that there are other markers for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, namely genetic conditions and inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis; conditions that cannot be prevented, but in most cases can, and need to, be treated in order to minimize the risks of further complications.