The skin is the body's largest organ and it is able to self-repair throughout an individual's life. With advanced age, skin is prone to degenerate in response to damage. Although cosmetic surgery has been widely adopted to rejuvinate skin, we are far from a clear understanding of the mechanisms responsible for skin aging. Recently, adult skin-resident stem/progenitor cells, growth arrest, senescence or apoptotic death and dysfunction caused by alterations in key signaling genes, such as Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK, PI3K/Akt-kinases, Wnt, p21 and p53, have been shown to play a vital role in skin regeneration. Simultaneously, enhanced telomere attrition, hormone exhaustion, oxidative stress, genetic events and ultraviolet radiation exposure that result in severe DNA damage, genomic instability and epigenetic mutations also contribute to skin aging. Therefore, cell replacement and targeting of the molecular systems found in skin hold great promise for controlling or even curing skin aging.
Keywords: Estrogen deficiency; ROS damage; Skin aging; Skin stem/progenitor cells; Telomere shortening.
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