Chronologic and Actinically Induced Aging in Human Facial Skin

Gilchrest, Barbara A.; Szabo, George; Flynn, Evelyn; Goldwyn, Robert M.
June 1983
Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Jun83 Supplement, Vol. 80, p81s
Academic Journal
Clinical and histologic stigmata of aging are much more prominent in habitually sun-exposed skin than in san-protected skin, but other possible manifestations of actinically induced aging are almost unexplored. We have examined the interrelation of chronologic and actinic aging using paired preauricular (sun-exposed) and postauricular (sun-protected) skin specimens. Keratinocyte cultures derived from sun-exposed skin consistently had a shorter in vitro lifespan but increased plating efficiency compared with cultures derived front adjacent sun-protected skin of the same individual, confirming a previous study of different paired body sites, Electron microscopic histologic sections revealed focal abnormalities of keratinocyte proliferation and alignment in vitro especially in those cultures derived from sun-exposed skin and decreased intercellular contact in stratified colonies at late passage, regardless of donor site, One-micron histologic sections of the original biopsy specimens revealed no striking site-related keratinocyte alterations, but sun-exposed specimens had fewer epidermal Langerhans cells (p < 0.001), averaging approximately 50 percent the number in sun-protected skin, a possible exaggeration of the previously reported age- associated decrease in this cell population. These data suggest that sun exposure indeed accelerates aging by several criteria and that, regardless of mechanism, environmental factors may adversely affect the appearance and function of aging skin in ways amenable to experimental quantitation.


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