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      Therapeutic role of human hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in treating hair loss

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          Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a paracrine hormone that plays an important role in epithelial-mesenchymal transition. HGF secreted by mesenchymal cells affects many properties of epithelial cells, such as proliferation, motility, and morphology. HGF has been reported to promote follicular growth. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the therapeutic role of HGF in hair loss treatment. A recombinant vector containing the human HGF (hHGF) gene (pTARGET-hHGF) was constructed, and the expression of hHGF in vitro was quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated. The effect of hHGF on hair growth was tested in mice, and results demonstrated that pTARGET-hHGF was successfully delivered into fibroblasts in vitro leading to a high expression of hHGF. Local injections of the pTARGET-hHGF recombinant vector into mice resulted in multiple beneficial effects compared to placebo, including faster hair regeneration, improved follicle development, and significantly increased HGF receptor (HGF-R). In conclusion, we have established a nonviral vector of hHGF which could be utilized to manipulate the sheath fibroblasts surrounding hair follicles (HF), thereby stimulating hair regeneration.

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          Most cited references 28

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          The biology of hair follicles.

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            Controls of hair follicle cycling.

             K Stenn,  Ralf Paus (2000)
            Nearly 50 years ago, Chase published a review of hair cycling in which he detailed hair growth in the mouse and integrated hair biology with the biology of his day. In this review we have used Chase as our model and tried to put the adult hair follicle growth cycle in perspective. We have tried to sketch the adult hair follicle cycle, as we know it today and what needs to be known. Above all, we hope that this work will serve as an introduction to basic biologists who are looking for a defined biological system that illustrates many of the challenges of modern biology: cell differentiation, epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, stem cell biology, pattern formation, apoptosis, cell and organ growth cycles, and pigmentation. The most important theme in studying the cycling hair follicle is that the follicle is a regenerating system. By traversing the phases of the cycle (growth, regression, resting, shedding, then growth again), the follicle demonstrates the unusual ability to completely regenerate itself. The basis for this regeneration rests in the unique follicular epithelial and mesenchymal components and their interactions. Recently, some of the molecular signals making up these interactions have been defined. They involve gene families also found in other regenerating systems such as fibroblast growth factor, transforming growth factor-beta, Wnt pathway, Sonic hedgehog, neurotrophins, and homeobox. For the immediate future, our challenge is to define the molecular basis for hair follicle growth control, to regenerate a mature hair follicle in vitro from defined populations, and to offer real solutions to our patients' problems.
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              Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor mediates angiogenesis through positive VEGF and negative thrombospondin 1 regulation.

              Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF), acting through the Met receptor, plays an important role in most human solid tumors, and inappropriate expression of this ligand-receptor pair is often associated with poor prognosis. The molecular basis for the malignant potential of the HGF/SF-Met signal in cancer cells has mostly been attributed to its mitogenic and invasive properties. However, HGF/SF also induces angiogenesis, but the signaling mechanism has not been fully explained, nor has this activity been directly associated with HGF/SF-Met-mediated tumorigenesis. It is known that HGF/SF induces in vitro expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a key agonist of tumor angiogenesis; by contrast, thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1) is a negative regulator of angiogenesis. Here, we show that, in the very same tumor cells, in addition to inducing VEGF expression, HGF/SF dramatically down-regulates TSP-1 expression. We show that TSP-1 shut-off plays an important, extrinsic role in HGF/SF-mediated tumor development, because ectopic expression of TSP-1 markedly inhibits tumor formation through the suppression of angiogenesis. Interestingly, although VEGF-induced expression is sensitive to inhibitors of several pathways, including mitogen-activated protein kinase, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, TSP-1 shut-off by HGF/SF is prevented solely by inhibiting mitogen-activated protein kinase activation. These studies identify HGF/SF as a key switch for turning on angiogenesis. They suggest that TSP-1 is a useful antagonist to tumor angiogenesis and that it may have therapeutic value when used in conjunction with inhibitors of VEGF.

                Author and article information

                PeerJ Inc. (San Francisco, USA )
                1 November 2016
                : 4
                Tianjin Key Laboratory for Modern Drug Delivery & High-Efficiency, School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Tianjin University , Tianjin, People’s Republic of China
                © 2016 Qi et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China
                Award ID: 81641132
                This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81641132). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Cell Biology
                Molecular Biology


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