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J Invest Dermatol. 1979 Jul;73(1):19-23.

Studies on age-related diseases in cultured skin fibroblasts.


In order to trace the origins of age-dependent diseases to the cellular level, we studied cultured human fibroblasts from subjects with 3 discrete inherited disorders and normal controls of various ages. Skin fibroblasts from subjects with progeria and Werner syndrome had a moderate to severe reduction in growth capacity, whereas cells from subjects with diabetes mellitus had a more subtle growth impairment. There was a decreased response of progeric fibroblasts to insulin-like hormones, and in normal cells the response decreased as a function of the passage level and donor age. Tissue factor, a procoagulant, was more abundant in progeric and Werner fibroblasts. An understanding of fibroblast aging in vitro may help us explain various concomitant phenomena of organismic aging such as diabetes mellitus, cell dropout, impaired hormone responsiveness, and increased atherothrombosis.

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