Cytokine mRNA expression in normal skin of various age populations before and after engraftment onto nude mice

Gilhar, Amos; Ullmann, Yehuda; Shalagino, Raya; Weisinger, Gary
April 1998
Acta Dermato-Venereologica;4/20/98, Vol. 78 Issue 1, p36
Academic Journal
Whether the impact of skin biological age on cytokine expression is a result of this tissue's proliferation potential or not is an important issue in dermatology. We investigated these questions by monitoring cytokine marker mRNA expression from human skin samples from healthy groups of individuals. The skin samples studied represented three age groups: fetal (17-21 weeks), young (18-35 years) and aged (76-88 years). Furthermore, upon skin transplantation of tissue from different age groups onto nude mice, we investigated whether cytokine marker RNA levels would change or normalize. Interestingly, both TNF-alpha and P53 mRNA showed a similar pattern of expression. Both were significantly higher in fetal skin (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.05, respectively), and no difference was noted between aged versus young skin. In contrast to this, IL1-alpha mRNA was expressed at its lowest and highest levels in fetal and young skin, respectively. Following skin transplantation, cytokines and P53 mRNA expression were normalized to similar levels in all age groups. This study implies that when cytokine expression was determined directly at the mRNA level, post-natal expression was not significantly different at either age group. Furthermore, it seems that the environmental conditions surrounding the grafted human skin found on nude mice encouraged normalization of donor cytokine expression.


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