Author(s): Deplewski D, Rosenfield RL
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Abstract Androgens are required for sexual hair and sebaceous gland development. However, pilosebaceous unit (PSU) growth and differentiation require the interaction of androgen with numerous other biological factors. The pattern of PSU responsiveness to androgen is determined in the embryo. Hair follicle growth involves close reciprocal epithelial-stromal interactions that recapitulate ontogeny; these interactions are necessary for optimal hair growth in culture. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and retinoids have recently been found to specifically affect sebaceous cell growth and differentiation. Many other hormones such as GH, insulin-like growth factors, insulin, glucocorticoids, estrogen, and thyroid hormone play important roles in PSU growth and development. The biological and endocrinological basis of PSU development and the hormonal treatment of the PSU disorders hirsutism, acne vulgaris, and pattern alopecia are reviewed. Improved understanding of the multiplicity of factors involved in normal PSU growth and differentiation will be necessary to provide optimal treatment approaches for these disorders.
This article was published in Endocr Rev
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science