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Photochem Photobiol. 2001 May;73(5):525-31.

Ovariectomy accelerates photoaging of rat skin.

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  • 1Biological Science Laboratories, Kao Corporation, 2606, Akabane, Ichikai, Haga, Tochigi 321-3497, Japan. 157481@kastanet.kao.co.jp


We have previously reported the formation of wrinkles, a decrease in skin elasticity and a loss in the linearity of dermal elastic fibers in rat hind limb skin irradiated with ultraviolet radiation in wavelength ranging 290-320 nm (UVB) at a suberythemal dose for 6 weeks. Estrogens are considered effective in preventing photoaging in postmenopausal females, but the role of estrogen in the skin remains unclear. In this study we have evaluated the influence of short-term chronic UVB irradiation at a suberythemal dose on the skin of ovariectomized rats. An ovariectomy or a sham operation was performed on each 3 week-old female Sprague-Dawley rat. Starting 1 week after the operation the hind limb skin of each rat was irradiated with UVB at a suberythemal dose (130 mJ/cm2) three times a week for 3 or 6 weeks. Decreases in elasticity and wrinkle formation in the skins of ovariectomized animals were induced more quickly than in the skins of sham-operated animals following UVB irradiation. The linearity of elastic fibers in the ovariectomy group decreased significantly compared with the sham-operation group, but erythema in the ovariectomy group was induced more readily than in the sham-operation group following UVB irradiation. These findings suggest that decreases in the estrogen levels after ovariectomy accelerate photoaging in terms of the morphology and physical properties of the skin surface and the three-dimensional structure of elastic fibers.

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