This is what you get when you are up at one-thirty in the morning reading obscure hair patents. I outta have my head examined.
Lookie here: http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/56098 ... ption.html
"[i][LCD functions as an inhibitor of enzyme catalytic activity by suppressing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone through its ability to deactivate the co-enzyme NADP which is required by 5a-reductase in the above conversion process.
LCD stands for "Liquor Carbonis Detergens" or Coal tar.
Here is the whole suggested formula with the patent:
Component Parts of solution
Liquor carbonis detergens (coal tar)
Salicylic acid 2 1.1
Spirits of Camphor 30 16.7
Castor Oil (or similar oil)
Isopropyl alcohol 138 76.7
total 180 100.0
*such as, Minoxidil, RetinA, CPA (Cyproterone acetate), growth stimulatin
factors (supernatants), sulfates, pyrimidines, hexosaccharic acid, salts
and esters thereof, pyroglutamic acid and esters thereof, and
antiandrogens, which can be factored in as desired
On in the literature, the authors explain what each ingredient supposedly would do against alopecia.
-------"LCD functions as an inhibitor of enzyme catalytic activity by suppressing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone through its ability to deactivate the co-enzyme NADP which is required by 5a-reductase in the above conversion process.
Salicylic acid works as a blood flow stimulant and as a keratolytic agent, bactericide and an adjunct in fungal infections which may be present on the scalp and inhibiting the normal functioning of the hair root bulb. Salicylic acid also serves to dissolve skin oils and reduce their viscosity within the sebaceous glands and ducts.
Spirits of Camphor (dissolved crystals) is a mild rubefacient, analgesic, antiseptic and antipruritic with mildly irritating and stimulating properties affecting capillary
Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol) serves as a solvent of surface oils, antiseptic, stimulant of blood flow, and media in which the other ingredients are dissolved.
Oil of Ricine (castor oil) is used to improve the regrowth or epithelialization of skin cells by reducing premature epithelial desiccation and cornification. It also acts as a protective covering to the irritated surface skin cells. "
The "Long Version" of how Coal Tar inhibits DHT formation is given further in the patent here:
"An initial comparative study of published findings on alopecia and review of coal tar applications for dermatological disease treatment revealed no explanation for the activity cited above to i.e., the inhibition of the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. However, the study of the co-enzymes required for this reaction, namely the interaction of 5a-reductase and NADP (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) revealed a mechanism of action that would explain lower levels of DHT is patients regularly applying the LCD solution. The conversion of testosterone to DHT is catalyzed by 5a-reductase which serves to donate the extra hydrogen atom carried by DHT. To release this atom, 5a-reductase requires the presence of the co-enzyme NADP.
To clarify this point, it may be helpful to review the role of enzymes in human metabolism. Enzymes are protein molecules of high molar mass which serve to catalyze reactions, making it possible for changes to occur faster and/or with reduced levels of energy. Most enzymes contain a non-protein element called a co-enzyme that must be present if the enzyme is to fulfill its function. In some cases, the co-enzyme is a metal cation such as Zn2+, Cu2+ or Co2+. In others, it is an organic molecule, most often a vitamin (such as the B vitamin niacin). DHT is a ligand. Ligands are molecules which are bonded to the central metal in a complex ion (ligands can also be defined as any molecule with an unshared pair of electrons). DHT requires an extra hydrogen atom to convert from testosterone. If this extra hydrogen atom is not available, the conversion cannot occur. Testosterone uses 5a reductase as its substrate. This substrate is one of the family of dehydrogenases, a class of enzymes which serve to remove two electrons and two hydrogen ions from the substrate. Dehydrogenases are very specific to their substrate. The electron acceptor for some dehydrogenases is NADP+, others Use NAP+. If this acceptor is deactivated by the presence of LCD, as is generally recognized (See U.S. Pat. No. 4,102,0995 to Peter Hebborn, Jul. 25, 1978, entitled Tar Gel Formulation, cited below), then the catalytic function of 5a-reductase is inhibited.
Coal tar is credited with an inhibitory action on the pentose cycle in cellular metabolism, which is particularly active in psoriasis. As a result there is a reduction in the activity of the enzymes G6PD and NADP. This inhibitory action is said to reduce DNA and RNA synthesis, resulting in the inhibition of mitotic activity and protein synthesis. A reduction of mitosis, or cell division, is beneficial to the psoriasis patient because . . . one of the factors in psoriasis is the extreme acceleration of epidermal cell production.
The patent excerpt above concerned itself with tar gel formulation and makes reference to the inhibition of the co-enzyme NADP found in coal far as the mechanism of action for the retardation of excessive skin cell reproduction occurring in psoriasis conditions. LCD, a liquid, diluted form of coal tar gel, is likely to have the same or similar inhibiting action on NADP within the cellular metabolism of the hair follicle cells and sebaceous glands. With the deactivation of NADP, 5a-reductase is disabled as the catalyst for T/DHT conversion. The diagram below details the metabolic pathway in human skin of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.1 ##STR1##
1 The importance of the role of dehydrogenase activity within the sebaceous glands of scalp tissue exhibiting androgenic alopecia is documented by Marty E. Sawaya, et. al., in her published article, "-- 5-3?-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Activity in Sebaceous Glands of Scalp in Male-Pattern Baldness" (The Society for Investigative Dermatology, December 1987). Their work suggests that bald areas of the scalp have a greater propensity for converting testosterone into DHT through the heightened activity of another dehydrogenase, -- 5-3?-Hydroxysteroid"
Me again...........................I think I now know why the coal tar shampoo group in the finasteride study has such an awkwardly good response now.