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Exp Gerontol. 2006 Apr;41(4):387-97. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Expression profiling of aging in the human skin.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria.


During the last years it was shown that the aging process is controlled by specific genes in a large number of organisms (C. elegans, Drosophila, mouse or humans). To investigate genes involved in the natural aging process of the human skin we applied cDNA microarray analysis of naturally aged human foreskin samples. For the array experiments a non-redundant set of 2135 pre-selected EST clones was used. These arrays were used to probe the patterns of gene expression in naturally aged human skin of five young (3-4 years of age) and five old (68-72 years of age) healthy persons. We found that in total 105 genes change their expression over 1.7-fold during the aging process in the human skin. Of these 43 genes were shown to be down-regulated in contrast to 62 up-regulated genes. Expression of regulated genes was confirmed by real-time PCR. These results suggest that the aging process in the human skin is connected with the deregulation of various cellular processes, like cell cycle control, cytoskeletal changes, inflammatory response, signaling and metabolism.

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