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J Invest Dermatol. 1999 Apr;112(4):450-5.

UVB irradiation stimulates deposition of new elastic fibers by modified epithelial cells surrounding the hair follicles and sebaceous glands in mice.

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1
Department of Biochemistry, The University of Texas Health Center, Tyler 75710, USA.

Abstract

UVB irradiation stimulates the synthesis of elastin in the skin of humans and experimental animals. In this study we localized the site and the cells that are responsible for the synthesis of murine dermal elastic fibers. SKH-1 hairless mice were irradiated with UVB and the skin removed for light microscopy, electron microscopy, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and biochemical studies. In response to chronic low doses of UVB there was an initial moderate increase in tropoelastin mRNA in the papillary dermis. By contrast, there was a continuous marked elevation of collagen alpha1(I) message localizing to sites of inflammatory cell influx throughout the upper and lower dermis. After 25 wk of UV irradiation there was a 2-fold increase in skin elastin, yet total collagen remained unchanged. Serial desmosine analysis from en face sections indicated the increase in elastin content was due to dermal elastic fibers, an increase in the size and number of the dermal cysts, and an increase in subpanniculus elastic fibers. Elastin stains of en face sections suggested that the elastic fibers in the upper dermis were exclusively derived from cells lining the epithelial root sheath and sebaceous glands. In response to UV irradiation, the elastic fibers increased in number and size, wrapping around these structures and aligning in both directions as long fibers parallel to the body axis. Electron micrographs indicated that modified epithelial cells in close proximity to the flattened epithelial cells that encircled the root sheath and sebaceous glands were the source of the elastic fibers.

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