Direct effects of minoxidil on epidermal cells in culture

R. L. Cohen, M. E A F Alves, V. C. Weiss, D. P. West, D. A. Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Minoxidil, a potent anithypertensive agent, induces generalized hypertrichosis when administered systemically or localized half regrowth when applied topically to sites of severe alopecia areata. The pharmacologic mechanisms by which minoxidil stimulates hair growth are unknown. The study was designed to examine whether minoxidil has direct effects on neonatal murine epidermal cells in culture. In the presence of minoxidil, cultures showed a marked dose-dependent second peak of DNA synthesis 8-10 days after culture initiation. In addition, two morphologically distinct cell types appeared. Indirect immunofluorescence staining with keratin-specific antibody revealed cytoplasmic keratin fibers, suggesting the epidermal origin of these cells. Our experiments demonstrate that minoxidil can affect epidermal cells in culture by altering their growth pattern and phenotypic appearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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