Spaniards of the Institute for research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the National Center for Genomic Analysis (CNAG-CRG) have shown that the skin ages and leaves have the ability to regenerate is because cells lose their identity cell, as if they «forget» what they are, and this fact alters its function and affects the tissue.
The study reveals cellular and molecular pathways that are modified with the passage of time and, according to the researchers, if they are modulated could delay or even reverse aging of the skin.
The IRB Salvador Aznar Bénitah researcher explained that the dermal fibroblasts are essential to produce the collagen and other proteins that make up the dermis, allowing the skin to maintain its barrier function properly and to repair the wounds.
«As we get older, the dermis loses the ability to maintain the production of collagens and, consequently, its ability to repair wounds is very diminished», said.
«This – said – entails many problems for older persons that do not heal well and your skin barrier is poor, what does increase the predisposition of infections of the same skin as systemic.»
The loss of cellular identity is one of the causes of aging «is a very interesting concept that we believe that it had not observed before», added.
Holger Heyn, CNAG-CRG researcher and co-author of the study, specified that «today’s technologies allow molecular analysis cell-to-cell. In this work, we have used these advanced methods to track fibroblasts in high resolution as they age».
The study shows that during aging, skin fibroblasts are acquiring many characteristics of adipocytes (fat cells), a loss of identity, which was confirmed in elderly mice.
Although it is basic research, Aznar remarked that «this new knowledge could not only have cosmetic anti-wrinkle creams to applications, but much more importantly, for intended therapeutic applications to which the skin of the people» greater heal better after an injury or an operation».