PLoS ONE (2017-01-01)

Age, gender and UV-exposition related effects on gene expression in in vivo aged short term cultivated human dermal fibroblasts.

  • Wolfgang Kaisers,
  • Petra Boukamp,
  • Hans-Jürgen Stark,
  • Holger Schwender,
  • Julia Tigges,
  • Jean Krutmann,
  • Heiner Schaal

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 5
p. e0175657


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Ageing, the progressive functional decline of virtually all tissues, affects numerous living organisms. Main phenotypic alterations of human skin during the ageing process include reduced skin thickness and elasticity which are related to extracellular matrix proteins. Dermal fibroblasts, the main source of extracellular fibrillar proteins, exhibit complex alterations during in vivo ageing and any of these are likely to be accompanied or caused by changes in gene expression. We investigated gene expression of short term cultivated in vivo aged human dermal fibroblasts using RNA-seq. Therefore, fibroblast samples derived from unaffected skin were obtained from 30 human donors. The donors were grouped by gender and age (Young: 19 to 25 years, Middle: 36 to 45 years, Old: 60 to 66 years). Two samples were taken from each donor, one from a sun-exposed and one from a sun-unexposed site. In our data, no consistently changed gene expression associated with donor age can be asserted. Instead, highly correlated expression of a small number of genes associated with transforming growth factor beta signalling was observed. Also, known gene expression alterations of in vivo aged dermal fibroblasts seem to be non-detectable in cultured fibroblasts.