Ancocyanin-rich blackcurrant extract (BCE) has phytoestrogen activity; however, its effect on hair follicles is unknown. Additionally, hair loss is known to occur during menopause in women owing to decreased estrogen secretion. This study examined whether BCE alleviated female pattern hair loss using a rat model. RNA was extracted and analyzed using a microarray and ingenuity pathway analysis. A quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed that 1 μg/mL BCE altered many genes downstream of beta-estradiol in human hair dermal papilla cells. Additionally, the expression of the hair follicle stem cell marker keratin 19 was greatly enhanced. In a menopause model, ovariectomized rats were fed a diet containing 3% BCE for three months. An analysis of the number of hair shafts revealed that BCE increased the number of hairs by 0.5 hairs/follicular unit. Moreover, immunostaining revealed that the expression of Ki67 also increased by 19%. Furthermore, fluorescent immunostaining showed that the expression of other stem cell markers, including keratin 15, CD34, and keratin 19, was induced in rat hair follicular cells. In conclusion, these findings suggest that BCE has phytoestrogen activity in hair follicles and contributes to the alleviation of hair loss in a menopausal model in rats.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited