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Mech Ageing Dev. 2001 Apr 15;122(4):415-26.

Age-related changes in oxidative damage to lipids and DNA in rat skin.

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  • 1Department of Ultrastructure and Research Facilities, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, 35-2 Sakaecho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0015, Japan.


Skin is a tissue exposed most frequently to oxidative stress from the environment in daily life. Age-related changes of oxidative damage and antioxidant enzyme activity in the skin were examined in male Fischer 344 rats aged 6 to 30 months. The contents of phosphatidylcholine hydroperoxide (PCOOH) and thiobarbituric acid-reacting substances (TBARS) increased linearly with age. The content of cholesterol hydroperoxide increased until 24 months of age and then decreased. The content of 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) increased gradually with age, and was significantly higher at 30 months of age than at 6 months of age. Superoxide dismutase activity tended to decrease with age. The activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase showed no changes with age. We examined the effect of dietary restriction on the accumulation of oxidative damage in rat skin. The increase in PCOOH content in the skin of dietary-restricted rats was suppressed until 30 months of age. The TBARS and cholesterol hydroperoxide contents in the skin of dietary-restricted rats were significantly lower than in the skin of ad libitum-fed rats, while the 8-oxodG content was somewhat lower in the dietary-restricted rats than the ad libitum-fed rats. These results indicate that oxidative damage to the lipids and DNA in rat skin increases with age and that dietary restriction delays the accumulation of oxidative damage in skin.

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