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J Invest Dermatol. 1999 May;112(5):782-7.

Fibrillin-rich microfibrils are reduced in photoaged skin. Distribution at the dermal-epidermal junction.

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1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.

Abstract

Chronic sun exposure results in photoaged skin with deep coarse wrinkles and loss of elasticity. We have examined the distribution and abundance of fibrillin-rich microfibrils, key structural components of the elastic fiber network, in photoaged and photoprotected skin. Punch biopsies taken from photoaged forearm and from photoprotected hip and upper inner arm of 16 subjects with a clinical range of photoaging were examined for fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 expression and microfibril distribution. In situ hybridization revealed decreased fibrillin-1 mRNA but unchanged fibrillin-2 mRNA levels in severely photoaged forearm biopsies relative to photoprotected dermal sites. An immunohistochemical approach demonstrated that microfibrils at the dermal-epidermal junction were significantly reduced in moderate to severely photoaged forearm skin. Confocal microscopy revealed that the papillary dermal microfibrillar network was truncated and depleted in photoaged skin. These studies highlight that the fibrillin-rich microfibrillar network associated with the upper dermis undergoes extensive remodeling following solar irradiation. These changes may contribute to the clinical features of photoaging, such as wrinkle formation and loss of elasticity.

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