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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 985345, 7 pages
Original Article

Inhibition of Inflammatory Gene Expression in Keratinocytes Using a Composition Containing Carnitine, Thioctic Acid and Saw Palmetto Extract

1State University of New York (SUNY), Albany, NY, USA
2Advanced Restoration Technologies, Inc., 9035 North 15th Place, Phoenix, AZ 85020, USA

Received 29 December 2008; Accepted 8 July 2009

Copyright © 2011 Sridar Chittur et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chronic inflammation of the hair follicle (HF) is considered a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Previously, we clinically tested liposterolic extract of Serenoa repens (LSESr) and its glycoside, β-sitosterol, in subjects with AGA and showed a highly positive response to treatment. In this study, we sought to determine whether blockade of inflammation using a composition containing LSESr as well as two anti-inflammatory agents (carnitine and thioctic acid) could alter the expression of molecular markers of inflammation in a well-established in vitro system. Using a well-validated assay representative of HF keratinocytes, specifically, stimulation of cultured human keratinocyte cells in vitro, we measured changes in gene expression of a spectrum of well-known inflammatory markers. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) provided an inflammatory stimulus. In particular, we found that the composition effectively suppressed LPS-activated gene expression of chemokines, including CCL17, CXCL6 and LTB(4) associated with pathways involved in inflammation and apoptosis. Our data support the hypothesis that the test compound exhibits anti-inflammatory characteristics in a well-established in vitro assay representing HF keratinocyte gene expression. These findings suggest that 5-alpha reductase inhibitors combined with blockade of inflammatory processes could represent a novel two-pronged approach in the treatment of AGA with improved efficacy over current modalities.