Heat treatment increases the incidence of alopecia areata in the C3H/HeJ mouse model

Tongyu Cao Wikramanayake, Elizabeth Alvarez-Connelly, Jessica Simon, Lucia M. Mauro, Javier Guzman, George Elgart, Lawrence A. Schachner, Juan Chen, Lisa R. Plano, Joaquin J. Jimenez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Alopecia areata (AA) is a common autoimmune disease characterized by non-scarring hair loss. Previous studies have demonstrated an association between AA and physiological/psychological stress. In this study, we investigated the effects of heat treatment, a physiological stress, on AA development in C3H/HeJ mice. Whereas this strain of mice are predisposed to AA at low incidence by 18 months of age, we observed a significant increase in the incidence of hair loss in heat-treated 8-month-old C3H/HeJ mice compared with sham-treated mice. Histological analysis detected mononuclear cell infiltration in anagen hair follicles, a characteristic of AA, in heat-treated mouse skin. As expected, increased expression of induced HSPA1A/B (formerly called HSP70i) was detected in skin samples from heat-treated mice. Importantly, increased HSPA1A/B expression was also detected in skin samples from C3H/HeJ mice that developed AA spontaneously. Our results suggest that induction of HSPA1A/B may precipitate the development of AA in C3H/HeJ mice. For future studies, the C3H/HeJ mice with heat treatment may prove a useful model to investigate stress response in AA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-991
Number of pages7
JournalCell Stress and Chaperones
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Alopecia areata
  • C3H/HeJ
  • Heat shock
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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