Title Genetic analysis of male pattern baldness and the 5alpha-reductase genes.
Author Ellis JA; Stebbing M; Harrap SB
Address Department of Physiology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Source J Invest Dermatol, 110(6):849-53 1998 Jun
Genetic predisposition and androgen dependence are important characteristics of the common patterned loss of scalp hair known as male pattern baldness. The involvement of the 5alpha-reductase enzyme in male pattern baldness has been postulated due to its role in the metabolism of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. There are two known isozymes of 5alpha-reductase. Type I has been predominantly localized to the skin and scalp. Type II, also present on the scalp, is the target of finasteride, a promising treatment for male pattern baldness. We conducted genetic association studies of the 5alpha-reductase enzyme genes (SRD5A1 on chromosome 5 and SRD5A2 on chromosome 2) using dimorphic intragenic restriction fragment length polymorphisms. From a population survey of 828 healthy families comprising 3000 individuals, we identified 58 young bald men (aged 18-30 y) and 114 older nonbald men (aged 50-70 y) for a case control comparison. No significant differences were found between cases and controls in allele, genotype, or haplotype frequencies for restriction fragment length polymorphisms of either gene. These findings suggest that the genes encoding the two 5alpha-reductase isoenzymes are not associated with male pattern baldness. Finally, no clear inheritance pattern of male pattern baldness was observed. The relatively strong concordance for baldness between fathers and sons in this study was not consistent with a simple Mendelian autosomal dominant inheritance. A polygenic etiology should be considered.
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