IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 8959: Activation of cAMP Signaling in Response to α-Phellandrene Promotes Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Levels and Proliferation in Human Dermal Papilla Cells (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Dermal papilla cells (DPCs) are growth factor reservoirs that are specialized for hair morphogenesis and regeneration. Due to their essential role in hair growth, DPCs are commonly used as an in vitro model to investigate the effects of hair growth-regulating compounds and their molecular mechanisms of action. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), an intracellular second messenger, is currently employed as a growth-promoting target molecule. In a pilot test, we found that α-phellandrene, a naturally occurring phytochemical, increased cAMP levels in DPCs. Therefore, we sought to determine whether α-phellandrene increases growth factors and proliferation in human DPCs and to identify the underlying mechanisms. We demonstrated that α-phellandrene promotes cell proliferation concentration-dependently. In addition, it increases the cAMP downstream effectors, such as protein kinase A catalytic subunit (PKA Cα) and phosphorylated cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB). Also, among the CREB-dependent growth factor candidates, we identified that α-phellandrene selectively upregulated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA expression in DPCs. Notably, the beneficial effects of α-phellandrene were nullified by a cAMP inhibitor. This study demonstrated the cAMP-mediated growth effects in DPCs and the therapeutic potential of α-phellandrene for preventing hair loss.