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J Invest Dermatol. 2006 Feb;126(2):291-9.

The receptor for advanced glycation end products is highly expressed in the skin and upregulated by advanced glycation end products and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

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Department of Medicine I, University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany.


Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) form non-enzymatically from reactions of proteins with reducing sugars. In the skin, AGEs were reported to accumulate in dermal elastin and collagens and to interact nonspecifically with the cell membrane of dermal fibroblasts. Therefore, AGEs may influence the process of skin aging. We investigated the presence of the AGE receptor RAGE in skin and the influence of AGEs on receptor expression and the formation of extracellular matrix (ECM). Sections of sun-protected and sun-exposed skin were analyzed with monoclonal antibodies against (RAGE), heat-shock protein 47, factor XIIIa, CD31, and CD45. RAGE was mainly expressed in fibroblasts, dendrocytes, and keratinocytes and to a minor extent in endothelial and mononuclear cells. Human foreskin fibroblasts (HFFs) highly expressed RAGE on the protein and mRNA level when analyzed by quantitative Western blotting and real-time PCR. Incubation of HFFs with the specific RAGE ligand Nepsilon-(carboxymethyl)lysine-modified BSA (CML-BSA) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha resulted in significant upregulation of RAGE expression. CML-BSA induced a mildly profibrogenic pattern, increasing connective tissue growth factor, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) 1, and procollagen-alpha1(I) mRNA, whereas expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, -2, -3, and -12 was unaffected. We conclude that in HFFs, AGE-RAGE interactions may influence the process of skin aging through mild stimulation of ECM gene expression.

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