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Differences in the Histopathology and Cytokine Expression Pattern between Chronological Aging and Photoaging of Hairless Mice Skin

DOI: 10.4236/mri.2014.33010, PP. 82-89

Keywords: Photoaged Skin, Chronologically-Aged Skin, Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines, Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines, Hairless Mice

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Skin photoaging is a complex, multifactorial process resulting in functional and structural changes of the skin, and different phenotypes from chronological skin aging are well-recognized. Ultraviolet (UV)-irradiated hairless mice have been used as a skin photoaging animal model. However, differences in morphology and gene expression patterns between UV-induced and chronological skin changes in this mouse model have not been fully elucidated. Here we investigated differences in histopathology and cytokine expression between UV-irradiated and non-irradiated aged hairless mice to clarify the factor(s) that differentiate photoaging from chronological skin aging phenotypes. Eight-week-old HR-1 hairless mice were divided into UV-irradiated (UV-irradiated mice) and non-irradiated (control mice) groups. Irradiation was performed three times per week for 10 weeks. In addition, 30-week-old HR-1 hairless mice were reared until 70 weeks of age without UV irradiation (aged mice). Histopathologies revealed that the flattening of dermal-epidermal junctions and epidermal thickening were observed only in UV-irradiated mice. Decreases in fine elastic fibers just beneath the epidermis, the thickening of elastic fibers in the reticular dermis, and the accumulation of glycosaminoglycans were more prominent in UV-irradiated mice as compared to non-irradiated aged mice. Quantitative PCR analyses revealed that UV-irradiated mice showed an increase in the expression of IFN-γ. In contrast, aged mice exhibited proportional up-regulation of both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. The IFN-γ/IL-4 ratio, an indicator for the balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, was significantly higher in UV-irradiated mice as compared to control and non-irradiated aged mice. An elevated IFN-γ/IL-4 ratio was also observed in aged senescence-accelerated mouse-prone 1 (SAMP1) mice, a spontaneous skin photoaging model we recently reported. Thus, an imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines might be


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