The effects of ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation and reactive oxygen species (ROS), generated with a xanthine and xanthine oxidase (XOD) system, on collagen enzymatic degradation involving the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and its tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP) were investigated using cultured human dermal fibroblasts. Total RNA was isolated and subjected to Northern blot analysis using cDNA clones for human interstitial collagenase (MMP-1), 72-kDa type IV collagenase (MMP-2) and TIMP-2. UVA irradiation resulted in an increase in MMP-1 mRNA up to 2.3-fold, but did not stimulate MMP-2 or TIMP-2 mRNA expression. In contrast, ROS induced by the xanthine and XOD system resulted in a dose-related increase in the level of MMP-2 mRNA up to 2.1-fold and a decrease in the level of TIMP-2 mRNA by 49% in the same fibroblasts. Catalase, used as scavenger, essentially prevented the ROS-induced alterations in MMP-2 and TIMP-2 mRNA levels. These results suggest that ROS produced in the dermis may contribute to biological changes in the connective tissue matrix observed in photoaging skin by accelerating the MMP-2-related matrix degradation system.
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