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Combination of herbal extracts and platelet-rich plasma induced dermal papilla cell proliferation: involvement of ERK and Akt pathways


Correspondence: H Ahmadi Ashtiani, Islamic Azad University, Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch, P.O. Box: 19395-6466, Tehran, Iran. E-mail:


Background and aims

Recently, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has attracted attention in various medical fields, including plastic surgery, treatment for problematic wounds, and dermatology. Specifically, PRP has been tested during hair transplantation to reduce swelling and pain and to increase hair density. We examined the effects of PRP and herbal extracts combination in order to identify potential stimulants of hair growth.


PRP was prepared using the double-spin method and applied to dermal papilla cells (DPCs). MTT viability test and BrdU cell proliferation assay were used to study the effect of herbal extracts and PRP on proliferation of DPCs. To understand the mechanisms of herbal extracts and PRP involved in the regulation of hair growth, we evaluated signaling pathways and measured the expressions of ERK and Akt, by Western blot.


Combination of herbal extracts and PRP was found to induce significant proliferation of human DPCs at concentrations ranging from 1.5% to 4.5%. The present study shows that herbal extracts and PRP affect the expressions of extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt in DPCs.


In this study, we have shown that combination of herbal extracts and PRP plays an active role in promoting the proliferation of human dermal papilla (DP) cells via the regulation of ERK and Akt proteins, and this may be applicable to the future development of herbal extracts and PRP combination therapeutics to enhance hair growth.