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Minoxidil has been shown to induce hair regrowth in alopecia areata1–4 by mechanisms that remain largely unknown. Alopecia areata is histologically characterized by miniaturized follicles with varying degrees of degeneration5 and by a dense perifollicular infiltration of T lymphocytes (helper, suppressor, and activated), Langerhans cells, and monocytes.6,7 T lymphocytes appear to be the predominant cell type in the perifollicular infiltrates and, by implication, may be of pathogenic significance in the hair loss process. Changes in perifollicular T-cell and activated T-cell populations have been found after treatment with minoxidil.7 Responders to topical 5% minoxidil treatment (ie, those patients who had terminal hair regrowth) have shown decreases in tissue T cells and simultaneous increases in peripheral blood T cells.7
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- Alopecia areata treated with topical minoxidil.Arch dermatol. 1984; 120: 457-463
- Topical minoxidil dose-response effect in alopecia areata.Arch dermatol. 1986; 122: 180-182
- Topical minoxidil solution (1% and 5%) in the treatment of alopecia areata.J Am Acad dermatol. 1987; 16: 745-748
- Evaluation of oral minoxidil in the treatment of alopecia areata.Arch dermatol. 1987; 123: 1488-1490
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- In situ demonstration of T-cells in alopecia areata.Arch dermatol. Res. 1982; 273: 155-158
- Immunohistochemical characterization of the cellular infiltrate in severe alopecia areata before and after minoxidil treatment.dermatologica. 1987; 175: 29-35
- Response to minoxidil in severe alopecia areata correlates with T-lymphocyte stimulation.Br J dermatol. 1987; 117: 759-763
- Alopecia areata and control lymphocyte blastogenesis suppressed by in vitro minoxidil.J Invest dermatol. 1986; 87: 139
- Separation of leukocytes from blood and bone marrow.Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1968; 21: 77-109
- Minoxidil sulfate and sulfotransferase activity in alopecia areata.Clinical Research. 1987; 35: 682A
© 1988 Published by Elsevier Inc.