Trachoma: can trichiasis be treated with a sticking-plaster? A randomized clinical trial in China.
Trachoma is the most frequent cause of preventable blindness in the world. At the trichiasis/entropion stage, lid surgery is recommended, but many patients only use epilation, which does not prevent loss of vision. We developed a new treatment that should be more accessible than lid surgery and more effective than epilation: a sticking plaster that forces eyelashes back to their correct position. The first randomized controlled trial was conducted in Shanghai with 57 patients to compare the plaster method with epilation. After 3 months of follow-up, with no attrition, 67% of those treated by the new method presented a good clinical status, vs none of those treated by epilation (P < 0.001). The new treatment was well tolerated and lid function remained normal. Although our results show overwhelming benefit of this new, simple treatment for trachoma at the trichiasis stage, more research is needed at the primary health care level and in other settings to determine the potential use of the new method on a large scale and by nonspecialists. (+info)
New roles for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and neurturin: involvement in hair cycle control.
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), neurturin (NTN), and their receptors, GDNF family receptor alpha-1 (GFRalpha-1) and GDNF family receptor alpha-2 (GFRalpha-2), are critically important for kidney and nervous system development. However, their role in skin biology, specifically in hair growth control, is as yet unknown. We have studied expression and function of GDNF, neurturin, GFRalpha-1, and GFRalpha-2 in murine skin during the cyclic transformation of the hair follicle (HF) from its resting state (telogen) to active growth (anagen) and then through regression (catagen) back to telogen. GDNF protein and GFRalpha-1 messenger RNA are prominently expressed in telogen skin, which lacks NTN and GFRalpha-2 transcripts. Early anagen development is accompanied by a significant decline in the skin content of GDNF protein and GFRalpha-1 transcripts. During the anagen-catagen transition, GDNF, GFRalpha-1, NTN, and GFRalpha-2 transcripts reach maximal levels. Compared with wild-type controls, GFRalpha-1 (+/-) and GFRalpha-2 (-/-) knockout mice show a significantly accelerated catagen development. Furthermore, GDNF or NTN administration significantly retards HF regression in organ-cultured mouse skin. This suggests important, previously unrecognized roles for GDNF/GFRalpha-1 and NTN/GFRalpha-2 signaling in skin biology, specifically in the control of apoptosis-driven HF involution, and raises the possibility that GFRalpha-1/GFRalpha-2 agonists/antagonists might become exploitable for the treatment of hair growth disorders that are related to abnormalities in catagen development. (+info)
Patterns of hairless (hr) gene expression in mouse hair follicle morphogenesis and cycling.
The hr (hairless) gene encodes a putative transcription factor with restricted expression in the skin and brain. Mutations in the hr locus cause papular atrichia in humans and complete hair loss in mice and other mammals. To further elucidate the role of hr in skin biology, and to identify potential target cells for hr regulation, we studied hr mRNA localization during hair follicle (HF) morphogenesis and cycling in normal C57BL/6J mice. In situ hybridization revealed that hr expression was present in the suprabasal cell layers of the epidermis, whereas the basal and highly differentiated keratinocytes of the granular layer were hr-negative. During the early stages of HF morphogenesis, hr mRNA was detected in the developing hair peg. Later, it became concentrated in the HF infundibulum, in the HF matrix, and in the inner root sheath (IRS), whereas the dermal papilla (DP) and outer root sheath were consistently hr mRNA-negative. During catagen, hr gene expression gradually declined in the regressing IRS, shortly but dramatically increased in the zone of developing club hair, and became up-regulated in the epithelial cells adjacent to the DP. The co-localization of hr mRNA with the site of the morphological defects in mutant skin implicates hr as a key factor in regulating basic cellular processes during catagen, including club hair formation, maintenance of DP-epithelial integrity, IRS disintegration, and keratinocyte apoptosis in the HF matrix. (+info)
Thin fibre territories of nerves innervating hairs in the human forearm estimated from axon reflex vasodilatations.
1. To study the territories of thin nerve fibres innervating hair follicles, we extracted single hairs from forearm skin. Scanning laser Doppler methodology was used to measure the evoked local increase of skin perfusion, the underlying assumption being that axon reflex vasodilatation would be evoked within the territory of extraction-activated thin nerve fibres. Ninety-two single hairs were extracted in 14 healthy males. 2. In 93 % of the cases perfusion increased transiently near the site of the extracted hair. No responses occurred when arm blood flow was occluded. In support of an underlying axon reflex mechanism the intensity of hair extraction-evoked pain correlated with the peak area of the response. In addition, after pre-extraction local anaesthesia, response components were seen in only 50 % of the cases and when they occurred they were very small. 3. The response had two components which could occur independently of each other. An early short-lasting component consisted of one or several separate areas with a peak total extension of 176 +/- 176 mm(2) (mean +/- S.D.), a peak maximal intensity (in percentage of pre-extraction perfusion) of 484 +/- 272 %, and a duration of 6-8 min. A later long-lasting component consisted of a single area of 51 +/- 107 mm(2), an intensity of 342 +/- 301 % and a duration of up to approximately 60 min. Perfusion could be influenced from a single hair in an asymmetrical skin area with diameters at right angles of 23 +/- 9 and 16 +/- 9 mm, respectively. 4. We suggest that the responses were evoked by two sets of thin nerve fibres, one at a superficial level with fairly large innervation territories, and the other located more deeply close to the hair follicle and with smaller innervation territories. (+info)
Association between epidermodysplasia verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus DNA in plucked eyebrow hair and solar keratoses.
Epidermodysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus DNA has been demonstrated in squamous cell carcinomas and plucked hair from immunocompetent patients and renal transplant recipients. This study investigated the association between infection with epidermodysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus, identified by the detection of viral DNA in plucked eyebrow hairs, and solar keratoses. These lesions are strongly predictive of squamous cell carcinoma. In a cross-sectional study 518 individuals were enrolled from a randomly selected sample of a subtropical Australian community. Epidermodysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus DNA in eyebrow hair was detected using a nested polymerase chain reaction specific for epidermodysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus types. Epidermo dysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus DNA was present in 121 (49%) of 245 men and 116 (44%) of 262 women. There was a strongly significant increase in epidermodysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus infection with age (p < 0.00001), with prevalences of 29% in the 25-39 y age group, 42% at 40-59 y and 65% in the 60-79 y age group. Among men there was a strong association between epidermodysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus and solar keratoses with an odds ratio, adjusted for age, skin color, and occupational sun exposure, of 3.40 (95% confidence interval, 1.77-6.53). No such association was found among women [odds ratio 1.03 (95% confidence interval 0.59-1.77, after adjustment for the same factors)]. Differences in occupational sun exposure and smoking histories could not explain these apparently different associations between epidermodysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus infection and solar keratoses in men and women. In conclusion, epidermodysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus infection is associated with solar keratoses in men suggesting that epidermodysplasia-verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus infection, in conjunction with sex specific factors (like androgens), may be involved in neoplastic changes of keratinocytes. (+info)
The growth of rats and mice vibrissae under normal and some abnormal conditions.
The growth of hair from the mystacial vibrissal follicles of C3H mice and Wistar rats has been measured for up to seven cycles. Normally growth in length and thickness was regular and little affected by age or sex. Plucking vibrissae at any stage during the growing period was followed by the appearance of a new vibrissa 8-11 days later. Plucking when growth had ceased had no effect on the time of appearance of the subsequent cycle. New whiskers emerging after plucking grew at the normal rate. Withholding food slowed the growth of vibrissae within 1 day. Normal growth was re-established 3 days after return to full diet. (+info)
Longitudinal study of trachomatous trichiasis in the Gambia.
AIM: Investigation of the natural history of trachomatous trichiasis in the Gambia and of the outcome of self epilation and surgery for the condition. METHODS: A 1 year longitudinal study of 190 subjects with trichiasis was performed. Major trichiasis cases (five lashes or more) were referred for surgery and minor trichiasis cases were advised to epilate. Outcome measures included progression of trichiasis and corneal scarring; attendance for and results of surgery. RESULTS: 34 of 148 (23%, 95% CI 16 to 31) subjects with major trichiasis attended for surgery over the year. Progression from minor to major trichiasis occurred in 18 of 55 subjects (33%, 95% CI 21 to 47). Progression of corneal scarring occurred in 60 of 167 patients (36%, 95% CI 29 to 44). Clinically active trachoma and conjunctival bacterial isolation predicted progression of corneal opacity. Surgery was successful in 39 of 54 (72%) eyes. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the overall decline in trachoma in the Gambia, patients with both minor and major trichiasis remain at risk of developing corneal opacity. Active trachomatous inflammation and additional infection with bacteria may accelerate this process. Antibiotic treatment for trichiasis patients (in addition to surgery) should be investigated. Surgery for minor trichiasis may be indicated. Regular audit of surgical results is necessary with retraining where needed. (+info)
Laser depilation of the natal cleft--an aid to healing the pilonidal sinus.
BACKGROUND: Pilonidal disease is common. Excessive hair growth in the natal cleft is thought to be a factor in initiating these sinuses. It is chronic and intermittent in nature and treatment can be difficult. Hair removal by shaving or use of creams is often advised as a compliment to surgical treatments. However, access to the natal cleft can be difficult. Laser removal of hair in the natal cleft is considered as an aid to healing the pilonidal sinus. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Over a 5-year period, 14 patients with recurrent pilonidal disease were treated in our unit with laser depilation. They were all contacted by postal questionnaire, and those with ongoing disease were asked to return to the clinic for evaluation and possible further treatment. RESULTS: All patients returned the postal questionnaire. Of the 14 patients, 4 had on-going disease and received further depilation with the Alexandrite laser. All are now healed with no reported complications. All patients found the procedure painful and received local anaesthetic. CONCLUSIONS: Laser depilation in the natal cleft is by no means a cure for pilonidal disease. Removal of hair by this method represents an alternative and effective method of hair removal and, although long lasting, is only temporary. However, it allows the sinuses to heal rapidly. It is relatively safe, and simple to teach, with few complications. It should thus be considered as an aid to healing the problem pilonidal sinus. (+info)