The effect of aging in primary human dermal fibroblasts

PLoS One. 2019 Jul 3;14(7):e0219165. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219165. eCollection 2019.


Skin aging is a complex process, and alterations in human skin due to aging have distinct characteristic as compared to other organs. The aging of dermal cells and the biological mechanisms involved in this process are key areas to understand skin aging. A large number of biological mechanisms, such as decreasing of protein synthesis of extracellular matrix or increasing of degradation, are known to be altered through skin aging. However, environmental influence can accelerate this characteristic phenotype. In this study, we analyzed primary human dermal fibroblasts in three different in-vitro aging models-UVB irradiation and accelerated proliferation of human dermal fibroblasts from young donors as well as from elderly donors-for the gene expression of COL1A1, COL1A2, COL3A1, COL4A1, COL7A1, MMP1, MMP2, MMP3, MMP7, MMP8, MMP9, MMP10, MMP12, MMP13, MMP14, TIMP1, TIMP2, TIMP3, TIMP4, IL1B, IL1A, IL6, IL8, IL10, PTGS2, TP53, CASP3, LMNA, SIRT1. We compared the gene expression levels with young control. Furthermore, the behavior of skin fibroblasts was also evaluated using cell growth rate. The findings reveal that the gene expression levels in skin fibroblasts was altered in the process of aging in all three in-vitro aging models, and the cell growth rate was reduced, suggesting that these methods can be employed to understand skin aging mechanisms as well as drug discovery screening method.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Cellular Senescence / radiation effects
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Fibroblasts / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / genetics*
  • Skin Aging / pathology*
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.