Weekly treatment with SAMiRNA targeting the androgen receptor ameliorates androgenetic alopecia


Yun, Sung-Il, Sang-Kyu Lee, Eun-Ah Goh, Oh Seung Kwon, Woorim Choi, Jangseon Kim, Mi Sun Lee, et al. 2022. “Weekly Treatment with SAMiRNA Targeting the Androgen Receptor Ameliorates Androgenetic Alopecia.” Scientific Reports 12 (1): 1607. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-05544-w.

Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is the most common type of hair loss in men and women. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and androgen receptor (AR) levels are increased in patients with AGA, and DHT-AR signaling correlates strongly with AGA pathogenesis. In this study, treatment with self-assembled micelle inhibitory RNA (SAMiRNA) nanoparticle-type siRNA selectively suppressed AR expression in vitro. Clinical studies with application of SAMiRNA to the scalp and massaging to deliver it to the hair follicle confirmed its efficacy in AGA. For identification of a potent SAMiRNA for AR silencing, 547 SAMiRNA candidates were synthesized and screened. SAMiRNA-AR68 (AR68) was the most potent and could be efficiently delivered to human follicle dermal papilla cells (HFDPCs) and hair follicles, and this treatment decreased the AR mRNA and protein levels. We confirmed that 10 µM AR68 elicits no innate immune response in human PBMCs and no cytotoxicity up to 20 µM with HFDP and HaCaT cells. Clinical studies were performed in a randomized and double-blind manner with two different doses and frequencies. In the low-dose (0.5 mg/ml) clinical study, AR68 was applied three times per week for 24 weeks, and through quantitative analysis using a phototrichogram, we confirmed increases in total hair counts. In the high-dose (5 mg/ml) clinical study, AR68 was given once per week for 24 weeks and showed 83% efficacy in increasing hair counts compared with finasteride. No side effects were observed. Therefore, SAMiRNA targeting AR mRNA is a potential novel topical treatment for AGA.

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