In vitro biosynthesis of type I and III collagens by human dermal fibroblasts from donors of increasing age

Mech Ageing Dev. 1994 Mar;73(3):179-87. doi: 10.1016/0047-6374(94)90050-7.


A quantitative study of type I and type III collagen production was carried out on primary cultures of human dermal fibroblasts. Cultures were initiated from facial and mammary skin of 29 women aged between 19 and 68 years. Secreted and cell-associated collagen levels were determined by an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We found that the secretion of type I and type III collagen decreased linearly with age (r = 0.432; P = 0.0193 and r = 0.502; P = 0.0147, respectively). There was a 29% loss in secretion ability for type I and type III collagen over the 49-year period studied. Furthermore, no significant linear age-related decrease was observed for type I and type III collagen associated with the cellular fraction. The influence of body site was also analysed. We observed a significant linear age-related decrease in type I collagen secretion by mammary skin cells (P = 0.0183 and r = 0.618) as well as facial skin cells (P = 0.0037 and r = 0.699). Furthermore, only mammary skin fibroblasts showed a significant linear age-related decrease in secreted type III collagen (P = 0.106 and r = 0.513). No age-related variations in cell-associated collagen were found.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Breast
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / biosynthesis*
  • Face
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Tissue Donors*


  • Collagen