Background: Vernonia anthelmintica (L.) willd is a traditional urgur herb in China for a long history. Its alcohol extract (AVE) has been proved to promote hair follicle growth in C57BL/6 mice. We conducted this study to investigate the hair-growth effects of AVE in stressed mice and its possible mechanism of action
Results: Our results showed that AVE counteract murine hair follicle growth inhibition caused by chronic restraint stress via inducing the conversion of telogen to anagen and inhibiting catagen premature, increasing bulb keratinocytes and bulge stem cells proliferation, promoting melanogenesis, and reducing the numbers of substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide nerve fibers. Furthermore, AVE also counteracted murine hair follicle growth inhibition caused by substance P in organ culture. Conclusion: These results suggest that AVE counteract stress-induced hair follicle growth inhibition in C57BL/6 mice in vivo and in vitro, and may be an effective new candidate for treatment of stress-induced hair loss.