BMB Rep. 2010; 43(10): 688-692  
Preventable effect of L-threonate, an ascorbate metabolite, on androgen-driven balding via repression of dihydrotestosteroneinduced
dickkopf-1 expression in human hair dermal papilla cells
Mi Hee Kwack1, Ji Sup Ahn2, Moon Kyu Kim1, Jung Chul Kim1 & Young Kwan Sung1,*
1Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 700-422, 2Dr. Ahn Medical Hair Clinic, Seoul 135-996, Korea
Correspondence to: Tel: 82-53-420-4874; Fax: 82-53-423-4628; E-mail: ysung@knu.ac.kr
Received: July 28, 2010; Accepted: August 27, 2010; Published online: October 31, 2010.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
In a previous study, we recently claimed that dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-inducible dickkopf-1 (DKK-1) expression is one of the key factors involved in androgen-potentiated balding. We also demonstrated that L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (Asc 2-P) represses DHT-induced DKK-1 expression in cultured dermal papilla cells (DPCs). Here, we investigated whether or not L-threonate could attenuate DHT-induced DKK-1 expression. We observed via RT-PCR analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that DHT-induced DKK-1 expression was attenuated in the presence of L-threonate. We also found that DHT-induced activation of DKK-1 promoter activity was significantly repressed by L-threonate. Moreover, a co-culture system featuring outer root sheath (ORS) keratinocytes and DPCs showed that DHT inhibited the growth of ORS cells, which was then significantly reversed by L-threonate. Collectively, these results indicate that L-threonate inhibited DKK-1 expression in DPCs and therefore is a good treatment for the prevention of androgen-driven balding.
Keywords: Balding, Dermal papilla cells, Dickkopf-1, Dihydrotestosterone, L-threonate

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