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      Asian Hair: A Review of Structures, Properties, and Distinctive Disorders


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          Asian hair is known for its straightness, dark pigmentation, and large diameter. The cuticle layer in Asians is thicker with more compact cuticle cells than that in Caucasians. Asian hair generally exhibits the strongest mechanical properties, and its cross-sectional area is determined greatly by genetic variations, particularly from the ectodysplasin A receptor gene. However, knowledge on Asian hair remains unclear with limited studies. This article aimed to review and summarize the characteristics and properties of Asian hair. It also aimed to discuss hair disorders including linear lupus panniculitis and pseudocyst of the scalp that occur distinctively in Asian populations.

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          Most cited references71

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          L-tyrosine and L-dihydroxyphenylalanine as hormone-like regulators of melanocyte functions.

          There is evidence that L-tyrosine and L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), besides serving as substrates and intermediates of melanogenesis, are also bioregulatory agents acting not only as inducers and positive regulators of melanogenesis but also as regulators of other cellular functions. These can be mediated through action on specific receptors or through non-receptor-mediated mechanisms. The substrate induced (L-tyrosine and/or L-DOPA) melanogenic pathway would autoregulate itself as well as regulate the melanocyte functions through the activity of its structural or regulatory proteins and through intermediates of melanogenesis and melanin itself. Dissection of regulatory and autoregulatory elements of this process may elucidate how substrate-induced autoregulatory pathways have evolved from prokaryotic or simple eukaryotic organisms to complex systems in vertebrates. This could substantiate an older theory proposing that receptors for amino acid-derived hormones arose from the receptors for those amino acids, and that nuclear receptors evolved from primitive intracellular receptors binding nutritional factors or metabolic intermediates. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
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            Key role of CRF in the skin stress response system.

            The discovery of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) or CRH defining the upper regulatory arm of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, along with the identification of the corresponding receptors (CRFRs 1 and 2), represents a milestone in our understanding of central mechanisms regulating body and local homeostasis. We focused on the CRF-led signaling systems in the skin and offer a model for regulation of peripheral homeostasis based on the interaction of CRF and the structurally related urocortins with corresponding receptors and the resulting direct or indirect phenotypic effects that include regulation of epidermal barrier function, skin immune, pigmentary, adnexal, and dermal functions necessary to maintain local and systemic homeostasis. The regulatory modes of action include the classical CRF-led cutaneous equivalent of the central HPA axis, the expression and function of CRF and related peptides, and the stimulation of pro-opiomelanocortin peptides or cytokines. The key regulatory role is assigned to the CRFR-1α receptor, with other isoforms having modulatory effects. CRF can be released from sensory nerves and immune cells in response to emotional and environmental stressors. The expression sequence of peptides includes urocortin/CRF→pro-opiomelanocortin→ACTH, MSH, and β-endorphin. Expression of these peptides and of CRFR-1α is environmentally regulated, and their dysfunction can lead to skin and systemic diseases. Environmentally stressed skin can activate both the central and local HPA axis through either sensory nerves or humoral factors to turn on homeostatic responses counteracting cutaneous and systemic environmental damage. CRF and CRFR-1 may constitute novel targets through the use of specific agonists or antagonists, especially for therapy of skin diseases that worsen with stress, such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.
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              Hair follicle pigmentation.

              Hair shaft melanin components (eu- or/and pheomelanin) are a long-lived record of precise interactions in the hair follicle pigmentary unit, e.g., between follicular melanocytes, keratinocytes, and dermal papilla fibroblasts. Follicular melanogenesis (FM) involves sequentially the melanogenic activity of follicular melanocytes, the transfer of melanin granules into cortical and medulla keratinocytes, and the formation of pigmented hair shafts. This activity is in turn regulated by an array of enzymes, structural and regulatory proteins, transporters, and receptors and their ligands, acting on the developmental stages, cellular, and hair follicle levels. FM is stringently coupled to the anagen stage of the hair cycle, being switched-off in catagen to remain absent through telogen. At the organ level FM is precisely coupled to the life cycle of melanocytes with changes in their compartmental distribution and accelerated melanoblast/melanocyte differentiation with enhanced secretory activity. The melanocyte compartments in the upper hair follicle also provides a reservoir for the repigmentation of epidermis and, for the cyclic formation of new anagen hair bulbs. Melanin synthesis and pigment transfer to bulb keratinocytes are dependent on the availability of melanin precursors, and regulation by signal transduction pathways intrinsic to skin and hair follicle, which are both receptor dependent and independent, act through auto-, para- or intracrine mechanisms and can be modified by hormonal signals. The important regulators are MC1 receptor its and adrenocorticotropic hormone, melanocyte stimulating hormone, agouti protein ligands (in rodents), c-Kit, and the endothelin receptors with their ligands. Melanin itself has a wide range of bioactivities that extend far beyond its determination of hair color.

                Author and article information

                Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol
                Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol
                Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology
                24 April 2020
                : 13
                : 309-318
                [1 ]Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University , Bangkok, Thailand
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Poonkiat Suchonwanit Email poonkiat@hotmail.com
                Author information
                © 2020 Leerunyakul and Suchonwanit.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                : 27 January 2020
                : 08 April 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 76, Pages: 10

                alopecia,biogeographic population,ethnicity,hair loss,hair shaft disorders
                alopecia, biogeographic population, ethnicity, hair loss, hair shaft disorders


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