Physcion, a novel inhibitor of 5α-reductase that promotes hair growth in vitro and in vivo

Androgenic alopecia (AGA) has a high incidence. Excess dihydrotestosterone in blood capillaries, which is converted from testosterone by 5α-reductase, is an AGA causative factor. We identified the inhibitory activity of four Polygonum multiflorum compounds against 5α-reductase via high-performance liquid chromatography, and the results showed that Physcion was a potent 5α-reductase inhibitor. Additionally, we found that through inhibiting 5α-reductase expression, Physcion could shorten the time of dorsal skin darkening and hair growth, improve hair follicle morphology, and significantly increase hair follicle count. Eventually, through molecular docking study, we found the binding energy and molecular interactions between Physcion and 5α-reductase type II. These results suggested that Physcion is a potent 5α-reductase inhibitor, as well as a new natural medicine for treating AGA.

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