Adenosine is an important biomolecule that is present throughout the human body and is essential for the proper functioning of cells. Adenosine is a component and precursor of RNA and DNA and also acts as a neurotransmitter. Commonly used as a treatment for cardiac arrhythmia, adenosine has properties that slow down the heartbeat and dilate blood vessels.
- The in vitro and in vivo (in mice) evidence suggests that adenosine can increase the expression (gene and protein) level of key growth factors involved in hair follicle growth as well as increase the amount of time that hair follicles spent in the growing phase (anagen). Further studies in human dermal papilla cells (DPCs) showed that adenosine treatment enhanced gene and protein expression of key signaling pathways involved in hair follicle cycling (such as the Wnt/β-catenin pathway).
- The ex vivo evidence on human hair follicles showed that treatment with adenosine increased hair follicle growth prolonged the growing phase, and inhibited entry into the transitional stage of the hair cycle (catagen).
- The clinical evidence suggested that while adenosine treatment is not likely to improve hair loss outcomes, it may improve hair thickness over a long period of time (such as 12 months).
- One small study showed that combination treatment with topical caffeine led to increased hair density and reduced hair shedding; however, it’s impossible to know if the positive effects were due to the caffeine or the adenosine.