Prostaglandin D 2 inhibits hair growth and is elevated in bald scalp of men with androgenetic alopecia

Luis A. Garza, Yaping Liu, Zaixin Yang, Brinda Alagesan, John A. Lawson, Scott M. Norberg, Dorothy E. Loy, Tailun Zhao, Hanz B. Blatt, David C. Stanton, Lee Carrasco, Gurpreet Ahluwalia, Susan M. Fischer, Garret A. FitzGerald, George Cotsarelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Testosterone is necessary for the development of male pattern baldness, known as androgenetic alopecia (AGA); yet, the mechanisms for decreased hair growth in this disorder are unclear. We show that prostaglandin D 2 synthase (PTGDS) is elevated at the mRNA and protein levels in bald scalp compared to haired scalp of men with AGA. The product of PTGDS enzyme activity, prostaglandin D 2 (PGD 2), is similarly elevated in bald scalp. During normal follicle cycling in mice, Ptgds and PGD 2 levels increase immediately preceding the regression phase, suggesting an inhibitory effect on hair growth. We show that PGD 2 inhibits hair growth in explanted human hair follicles and when applied topically to mice. Hair growth inhibition requires the PGD 2 receptor G protein (heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide)-coupled receptor 44 (GPR44), but not the PGD 2 receptor 1 (PTGDR). Furthermore, we find that a transgenic mouse, K14-Ptgs2, which targets prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 expression to the skin, demonstrates elevated levels of PGD 2 in the skin and develops alopecia, follicular miniaturization, and sebaceous gland hyperplasia, which are all hallmarks of human AGA. These results define PGD2 as an inhibitor of hair growth in AGA and suggest the PGD 2-GPR44 pathway as a potential target for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26ra34
JournalScience translational medicine
Issue number126
StatePublished - Mar 21 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Prostaglandin D 2 inhibits hair growth and is elevated in bald scalp of men with androgenetic alopecia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this