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11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase blockade prevents age-induced skin structure and function defects

Tiganescu, A., Tahrani, A.A., Morgan, S.A. et al.

Glucocorticoid (GC) excess adversely affects skin integrity, inducing thinning and impaired wound healing. Aged skin, particularly that which has been photo-exposed, shares a similar phenotype. Previously, we demonstrated age-induced expression of the GC-activating enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) in cultured human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). Here, we determined 11β-HSD1 levels in human skin biopsies from young and older volunteers and examined the aged 11β-HSD1 KO mouse skin phenotype. 11β-HSD1 activity was elevated in aged human and mouse skin and in PE compared with donor-matched photo-protected human biopsies. Age-induced dermal atrophy with deranged collagen structural organization was prevented in 11β-HSD1 KO mice, which also exhibited increased collagen density. We found that treatment of HDFs with physiological concentrations of cortisol inhibited rate-limiting steps in collagen biosynthesis and processing. Furthermore, topical 11β-HSD1 inhibitor treatment accelerated healing of full-thickness mouse dorsal wounds, with improved healing also observed in aged 11β-HSD1 KO mice. These findings suggest that elevated 11β-HSD1 activity in aging skin leads to increased local GC generation, which may account for adverse changes occurring in the elderly, and 11β-HSD1 inhibitors may be useful in the treatment of age-associated impairments in dermal integrity and wound healing.

Citation

Tiganescu, A., Tahrani, A.A., Morgan, S.A. et al. "11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase blockade prevents age-induced skin structure and function defects" Journal of Clinical Investigation (2013): 3,051–60