Glutathione, glutathione S-transferase and reactive oxygen species of human scalp sebaceous glands in male pattern baldness.


Giralt M; Cervello I; Nogues MR; Puerto AM; Ortin F; Argany N; Mallol J


Unit of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University "Rovira i Virgili," Reus, Spain.


J Invest Dermatol, 1996 Aug, 107:2, 154-8



We investigated the contribution of reactive oxygen species to the development of sebaceous gland hyperplasia and the characteristics of the glutathione S-transferase/glutathione system in male pattern baldness. Glutathione S-transferase, glutathione,and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances were determined in sebaceous gland-enriched scalp skin of men affected by male pattern baldness and were subjected to hair autotrans-plantation. In comparison with the hairy occipital-donor areas,the following results were obtained in alopecic frontoparietal samples: glutathione S-transferase-specific activity increased 7-fold (p < 0.001); enzyme affinity towards 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene decreased 2-fold (p = 0.009); glutathione content decreased 2.5-fold (p= 0.017); and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances increased 2-fold (p = 0.006). Chromatofocusing analysis, bromosulfophthalein IC50 values, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and immunohistochemistry with polyclonal antibodies raised against glutathione S-transferases alpha, mu, and pi demonstrated the presence of alpha, pi, and probably the 5.8 alpha isoenzymes in the sebaceous gland. These results support the hypothesis that reactive oxygen species are involved in the pathogenesis of sebaceous gland hyperplasia in male pattern baldness.

ENGLISH: First of all there are many terms here that I know nothing about. What I can read out of this article is GLUTATHIONE CONTENT was indeed 2.5 times lower in the BALDING areas. This could easily mean that natural NO is quickly rendered inactive by H2O2. It could also indicate the presence of homocysteine which has been shown to damage the glutathione system and NO. So in short, also any supplemental Minoxidil would have difficulties in this very very hostile environment in which the intracellular defenses have gone down. Now, it is crucial to realize that glutathione is formed (partly) from the sulphur containing amino acid L-Cysteine. These low glutathione levels can really indicate that there are problems with sulphur containing amino acids in the balding areas and as we know, Sulphur would also be needed for the active metabolite of the minoxidil. The fact that the glutathione levels are 2.5 times lower is very alarming indeed. It not only easily explains lot of the damage done to the follicles but it also provides a pretty good logic why Minoxidil is having some trouble with initiating hair growth. If we want to raise glutathione levels...then supplemental NAC would seem the wisest choice available. It is cheap and soluble in the Minoxidl vehicle. Again, I don’t urge you to do anything. These low glutathione levels also serve as a reasoning on which I partly base my oral supplementation of NAC,antioxidants,Vit B6, and magnesium. All of these are relevant for glutathione levels. Some of the terms in the study refer to antibodies etc. which I know nothing about. Dr. Proctor does though :)

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