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. 2014;13(3):153-61.
doi: 10.2174/1871528113666140522112003.

Inflammaging in Skin and Other Tissues - The Roles of Complement System and Macrophage

Free PMC article

Inflammaging in Skin and Other Tissues - The Roles of Complement System and Macrophage

Yong Zhuang et al. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. .
Free PMC article


Inflammaging refers to a continuous, low-grade inflammation associated with aging. Such chronic inflammatory response could build up with time and gradually causes tissue damage. It is considered as one of the driving forces for many age-related diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and skin aging. There is mounting evidence that indicates aging is driven by the pro-inflammatory cytokines and substances produced by our body's innate immune system. The macrophage and complement system, two important components of innate immune system, have attracted more and more attention since they appear to be involved in the pathogenesis of several inflammaging-associated diseases, such as AMD and atherosclerosis. This paper will review what we know about these two innate immune systems in the pathogenesis of AMD, atherosclerosis and skin aging.


Fig. (1)
Fig. (1)
Complement and macrophage in UV-induced skin inflammaging. UV exposure induces oxidative stress, leading to accumulation of the damaged cell and oxidized lipids. They are recognized by complement system, which will trigger inflammation, leading to the macrophage infiltration. Macrophage release MMPs, which can degrade extracellular matrix (ECM). With the repeated UV insult and the build-up of these wastes, the complement system is over-activated and macrophages are overburdened with oxidized lipids with its function compromised. Over-active complement can cause the damage of DEJ, where they deposit. Overburdened macrophages release ROS and pro-inflammatory cytokines and cause chronic inflammation and further damage to the skin dermis.

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