Dermal elastic fibres are extracellular matrix protein complexes produced by fibroblasts and involved in skin elasticity. Elastin fibres decrease with age as a result of reduced synthesis and increased degradation, resulting in skin sagging and reduced skin elasticity. In this study, we show that retinol (ROL), known to enhance dermal collagen production, is also enhancing elastin fibre formation. ROL induced elastin gene expression and elastin fibre formation in cultured human dermal fibroblasts. Topical treatment of cultured human skin explants with a low dose (0.04%) of ROL increased mRNA and protein levels of tropoelastin and of fibrillin-1, an elastin accessory protein, as documented by QPCR and immunohistochemistry staining. Luna staining confirmed the increased elastin fibre network in the ROL-treated skin explants, as compared with untreated controls. These data demonstrate that ROL exerts its anti-ageing benefits not only via enhanced epidermal proliferation and increased collagen production, but also through an increase in elastin production and assembly.
© 2010 Johnson & Johnson. Journal compilation. © 2010 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.