Dandruff is a skin disorder that causes seborrhoeic dermatitis on the scalp. It leads to flakes, scalp skin itching, and mild redness. These tissue symptoms do not reveal the underlying molecular disruptions. This study evaluates the genetic causes of dandruff, along with the effects of ZPT shampoo treatments.

The researchers compare the gene expression in subjects with and without dandruff. They also determine the significant physiological disruptions which manifest. Scalp biopsies from 16 normal subjects and 15 subjects with dandruff are the primary data. The ZPT shampoo effects on 30 subjects get assessed in a second study. The commercial shampoo and vehicle are used to treat 15 subjects in two groups. The researchers collected the scalp lesion biopsies at baseline and end of the study. Subsequently, RNA extraction from all the biopsies undergoes transcriptomic profile analysis using Affymetrix gene chips. This step gets followed by bioinformatic analysis.

The first biopsy study reveals more than 7000 malfunctions in dandruff lesions skin compared to the normal. It also reveals new insights into lipid metabolism, immune response, apoptosis, stimulus-response, cell proliferation, and outer skin layer growth. Dandruff subjects show repressed lipid metabolism and induced gene inflammation. But non-dandruff subjects show gene inflammation, and the lesion skin subjects had gene increase at the protein level. The second study generated resembling transcription profiles in both groups.

The new, insightful data increases our understanding of dandruff’s nature. The therapeutic action of ZPT shampoo also threw up answers to many mechanistic questions. 

Ref: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.10863.x