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Review Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2022; 26(6): 405-413

Published online November 1, 2022

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

The physiological and pharmacological roles of prostaglandins in hair growth

Dong Wook Shin*

College of Biomedical and Health Science, Konkuk University, Chungju 27478, Korea

Correspondence to:Dong Wook Shin

Author contributions: D.W.S. supervised, coordinated the study, and wrote the manuscript.

Received: September 19, 2022; Revised: October 12, 2022; Accepted: October 12, 2022

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hair loss is a common status found among people of all ages. Since the role of hair is much more related to culture and individual identity, hair loss can have a great influence on well-being and quality of life. It is a disorder that is observed in only scalp patients with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) or alopecia areata caused by stress or immune response abnormalities. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved therapeutic medicines such as finasteride, and minoxidil improve hair loss temporarily, but when they stop, they have a limitation in that hair loss occurs again. As an alternative strategy for improving hair growth, many studies reported that there is a relationship between the expression levels of prostaglandins (PGs) and hair growth. Four major PGs such as prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), prostaglandin I2 (PGI2), prostaglandin E2 (PGE), and prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF) are spatiotemporally expressed in hair follicles and are implicated in hair loss. This review investigated the physiological roles and pharmacological interventions of the PGs in the pathogenesis of hair loss and provided these novel insights for clinical therapeutics for patients suffering from alopecia.

Keywords: Alopecia areata, Androgenetic alopecia, Cyclooxygenase, Hair follicle, Prostaglandin