Elderly and sun-affected skin. Distinguishing between changes caused by aging and changes caused by habitual exposure to sun. (73/1118)

OBJECTIVE: To review and distinguish between skin changes produced by aging and changes produced by habitual exposure to sun. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: The literature was searched from 1969 to 1999 for articles on dermatoheliosis and sun-damaged skin. Surprisingly few were found comparing the difference between elderly skin and sun-damaged skin. A few articles focused on certain small aspects of sun-damaged skin. Many excellent articles described particular changes (e.g., actinic keratosis), but few covered all the changes due to aging and to sun. MAIN MESSAGE: Skin changes due to aging can be distinguished from those due to sun damage. All changes due to sun exposure can be grouped under the term dermatoheliosis; five parts of the skin are involved: epidermis (actinic keratosis), dermis (solar elastosis), blood vessels (telangiectasia), sebaceous glands (solar comedones), and melanocytes (diffuse or mottled brown patches). Habitual exposure to sun and a white skin are prerequisites for developing these changes. Knowing the difference between changes caused by sun and by aging can help physicians predict which patients are most likely to get skin cancers. CONCLUSION: Knowledge of these common skin changes will help physicians diagnose and manage the skin abnormalities of elderly people and of people with dermatoheliosis.  (+info)

Human fibroblast replicative senescence can occur in the absence of extensive cell division and short telomeres. (74/1118)

Ectopic expression of telomerase blocks both telomeric attrition and senescence, suggesting that telomeric attrition is a mitotic counting mechanism that culminates in replicative senescence. By holding human fibroblast cultures confluent for up to 12 weeks at a time, we confirmed previous observations and showed that telomeric attrition requires cell division and also, that senescence occurs at a constant average telomere length, not at a constant time point. However, on resuming cell division, these long-term confluent (LTC) cultures completed 15-25 fewer mean population doublings (MPDs) than the controls prior to senescence. These lost divisions were mainly accounted for by slow cell turnover of the LTC cultures and by permanent cell cycle exit of 94% of the LTC cells, which resulted in many cell divisions being unmeasured by the MPD method. In the LTC cultures, p27(KIP1) accumulated and pRb became under-phosphorylated and under-expressed. Also, coincident with permanent cell cycle exit and before 1 MPD was completed, the LTC cultures upregulated the cell cycle inhibitors p21(WAF) and p16(INK4A) but not p14(ARF) and developed other markers of senescence. We then tested the relationship between cell cycle re-entry and the cell cycle-inhibitory proteins following subculture of the LTC cultures. In these cultures, the downregulation of p27(KIP1) and the phosphorylation of pRb preceded the complete resumption of normal proliferation rate, which was accompanied by the down-regulation of p16(INK4A). Our results show that most normal human fibroblasts can accumulate p16(INK4A), p21(WAF) and p27(KIP1) and senesce by cell division-independent mechanism(s). Furthermore, this form of senescence likely requires p16(INK4A) and perhaps p27(KIP1).  (+info)

Somatopy of perceptual threshold to cutaneous electrical stimulation in man. (75/1118)

Neurological testing tools for measuring and monitoring somatosensory function lack resolution and are often dependent on the clinician testing. In this study we have measured perceptual threshold (PT) to electrical stimulation of the skin and compared it with two-point discriminative ability (TPDA) in 12 control subjects. Tests were made on both sides of the body at American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) key points on seven spinal dermatomes (C3 (neck), C4 (shoulder), C5 (upper arm), C6 (thumb), T8 (abdomen), L3 (knee), L5 (foot)) and in the mandibular (chin) and maxillary (cheek) fields of the trigeminal (V) nerve. Electrical stimulation (0.5 ms pulse width; 3 Hz) was applied via a self-adhesive cathode and an anode strapped to the wrist or ankle. The stimulus intensity was adjusted and PT was recorded as the lowest current at which the subject reported sensation. Sites were tested in random order. Indices for both TPDA and PT differed according to the dermatome tested but there was no correlation between TPDA and PT for any dermatome. There was good correlation between results from equivalent dermatomes on left and right sides for both PT and TPDA. Women frequently had lower mean (+/- S.E.) PTs and better TPDA than men; differences were significant (P < 0.05) for PT on the knee (women, 1.31 +/- 0.15 mA; men, 2.05 +/- 0.26 mA) and the foot (women, 2.90 +/- 0.19 mA; men, 4.13 +/- 0.28 mA) and for TPDA on the thumb (women, 3.8 +/- 0.2 mm; men, 7.8 +/- 1.3 mm) and the knee (women, 17.8 +/- 1.6 mm; men, 27.1 +/- 4.0 mm). Four subjects repeated the experiment on another day and the results correlated well with the first test for PT (r2, 0.62) and TPDA (r2, 0.48). PT differs between dermatomes in a predictable way but does not relate to TPDA. PT is easy to measure and may be a useful assessment tool with which to monitor recovery or deterioration in neuropathies, neurotrauma or after surgery.  (+info)

Transgenic expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 results in epidermal hyperplasia, hypertrophy, and severe dermal fibrosis. (76/1118)

In a previous report we have described the effects of expression of D-type cyclins in epithelial tissues of transgenic mice. To study the involvement of the D-type cyclin partner cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) in epithelial growth and differentiation, transgenic mice were generated carrying the CDK4 gene under the control of a keratin 5 promoter. As expected, transgenic mice showed expression of CDK4 in the epidermal basal-cell layer. Epidermal proliferation increased dramatically and basal cell hyperplasia and hypertrophy were observed. The hyperproliferative phenotype of these transgenic mice was independent of D-type cyclin expression because no overexpression of these proteins was detected. CDK4 and CDK2 kinase activities increased in transgenic animals and were associated with elevated binding of p27(Kip1) to CDK4. Expression of CDK4 in the epidermis results in an increased spinous layer compared with normal epidermis, and a mild hyperkeratosis in the cornified layer. In addition to epidermal changes, severe dermal fibrosis was observed and part of the subcutaneous adipose tissue was replaced by connective tissue. Also, abnormal expression of keratin 6 associated with the hyperproliferative phenotype was observed in transgenic epidermis. This model provides in vivo evidence for the role of CDK4 as a mediator of proliferation in epithelial cells independent of D-type cyclin expression.  (+info)

Polyamines regulate gap junction communication in connexin 43-expressing cells. (77/1118)

The control of cell-cell communication through gap junctions is thought to be crucial in normal tissue function and during various stages of tumorigenesis. However, few natural regulators of gap junctions have been found. We show here that increasing the activity of ornithine decarboxylase, or adding polyamines to the outside of cells, increases the level of gap junction communication between various epithelial cells. Conversely, reduction of ornithine decarboxylase activity decreases the level of gap junction communication. This regulation is dependent upon the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43 or Cxalpha1), which is a major connexin expressed in many different cell types, and involves an increase in Cx43 and its cellular re-distribution.  (+info)

Sphingolipid activator proteins: proteins with complex functions in lipid degradation and skin biogenesis. (78/1118)

Sphingolipid activator proteins (SAPs or saposins) are essential cofactors for the lysosomal degradation of membrane-anchored sphingolipids. Four of the five known proteins of this class, SAPs A--D, derive from a single precursor protein and show high homology, whereas the fifth protein, GM2AP, is larger and displays a different secondary structure. Although the main function of all five proteins is assumed to lie in the activation of lipid degradation, their specificities and modes of action seem to differ considerably. It has recently been demonstrated that the action of the proteins is highly enhanced by the presence of acidic lipids in the target membranes. These results have some interesting implications for the topology of lysosomal degradation of lipids and may provide new insights into the function of these interesting proteins, which are ubiquitously expressed in the different tissues of the body. Recent studies indicated that the SAPs play an important role in the biogenesis of the epidermal water barrier, which has been demonstrated by the analysis of the skin phenotype displayed by SAP-knockout mice. The results obtained so far have led to some new insights into the formation of the epidermal water permeability barrier and may lead to a better understanding of this complex process.  (+info)

Contribution of dihydrocodeine and dihydromorphine to analgesia following dihydrocodeine administration in man: a PK-PD modelling analysis. (79/1118)

AIMS: It is not clear whether the analgesic effect following dihydrocodeine (DHC) administration is due to either DHC itself or its metabolite, dihydromorphine (DHM). We examined the relative contribution of DHC and DHM to analgesia following DHC administration in a group of healthy volunteers using a PK-PD link modelling approach. METHODS: A single oral dose of DHC (90 mg) was administered to 10 healthy volunteers in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. A computerized cold pressor test (CPT) was used to measure analgesia. On each study day, the volunteers performed the CPT before study medication and at 1.25, 2.75, 4.25 and 5.75 h postdose. Blood samples were taken at 0.25 h (predose) and then at half hourly intervals for 5.75 h postdose. PK-PD link modelling was used to describe the relationships between DHC, DHM and analgesic effect. RESULTS: Mean pain AUCs following DHC administration were significantly different to those following placebo administration (P = 0.001). Mean pain AUC changes were 91 score x s(-1) for DHC and -17 score x s(-1) for placebo (95% CI = +/- 36.5 for both treatments). The assumption of a simple linear relationship between DHC concentration and effect provided a significantly better fit than the model containing DHM as the active moiety (AIC = 4.431 vs 4.668, respectively). The more complex models did not improve the likelihood of model fits significantly. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that the analgesic effect following DHC ingestion is mainly attributed to the parent drug rather than its DHM metabolite. It can thus be inferred that polymorphic differences in DHC metabolism to DHM have little or no effect on the analgesic affect.  (+info)

The melanocortin-1-receptor gene is the major freckle gene. (80/1118)

Ephelides and solar lentigines are different types of pigmented skin lesions. Ephelides appear early in childhood and are associated with fair skin type and red hair. Solar lentigines appear with increasing age and are a sign of photodamage. Both lesions are strong risk indicators for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Melanocortin-1-receptor (MC1R) gene variants are also associated with fair skin, red hair and melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between MC1R gene variants, ephelides and solar lentigines. In a large case-control study, patients with melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer and subjects without a history of skin cancer were studied. In all participants, the presence of ephelides in childhood and solar lentigines by physical examination was assessed according to strict definitions. The entire coding sequence of the MC1R gene was analyzed by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis followed by sequence analyses. Carriers of one or two MC1R gene variants had a 3- and 11-fold increased risk of developing ephelides, respectively (both P < 0.0001), whereas the risk of developing severe solar lentigines was increased 1.5- and 2-fold (P = 0.035 and P < 0.0001), respectively. These associations were independent of skin type and hair color, and were comparable in patients with and without a history of skin cancer. The population attributable risk for ephelides to MC1R gene variants was 60%, i.e. 60% of the ephelides in the population was caused by MC1R gene variants. A dosage effect was found between the degree of ephelides and the number of MC1R gene variants. As nearly all individuals with ephelides were carriers of at least one MC1R gene variant, our data suggest that MC1R gene variants are necessary to develop ephelides. The results of the study also suggest that MC1R gene variants play a role, although less important, in the development of solar lentigines.  (+info)