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article imageResearchers reverse aging-associated skin wrinkles

By Tim Sandle     Jul 27, 2018 in Health
Birmingham - Scientists have successfully reversed aging-associated skin wrinkles and hair loss, albeit it only in a mouse model (so far). Later steps will involve trials involving human subjects.
The process is based on advanced genetics. The researchers have discovered that a gene mutation leads to wrinkled skin and hair loss. By turning off this mutation, this restores the mouse to its normal appearance. That is the wrinkles disappear and the hair loss is reversed.
The research comes from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where scientists found that when a mutation leading to mitochondrial dysfunction is induced, this causes the mouse to develop wrinkled skin together with extensive and visible hair loss. The full effect is revealed within a few weeks. However, when the mitochondrial function is restored, trough switching off the gene responsible for the mitochondrial dysfunction, then the mouse quickly returns to a state of having smooth skin together with thick fur. To the general observer, the 'old' mouse is indistinguishable from any other healthy mouse.
Mitochondria plays a complex role in the cell. In addition to their primary role in ATP generation (used as a source of chemical energy), the organelles produce calcium, which is used to generate and detoxify reactive oxygen species. When mitochondria go wrong this can lead to ill-health effects. Mitochondria have, for instance, been implicated in several human diseases, like cardiac dysfunction, heart failure and autism. Furthermore, a decline in mitochondrial function is seen during aging.
According to lead researcher Dr. Keshav Singh, success with the mouse model holds the key to human-based research, which "should provide an unprecedented opportunity for the development of preventive and therapeutic drug development strategies to augment the mitochondrial functions for the treatment of aging-associated skin and hair pathology and other human diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction plays a significant role."
The research has been published in the journal Cell Death & Disease, with the research paper titled "Reversing wrinkled skin and hair loss in mice by restoring mitochondrial function."
More about skin wrinkles, Skin, Wrinkles, Aging, Ageing
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