Both physiological skin aging and pathologic photo-aging caused by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation are mediated by latent inflammation and oxidative stress. Although numerous animal skin-aging models have used UV irradiation, most require massive doses or long-term irradiation. To establish a more refined skin-aging model, we focused on an animal model of metabolic syndrome (MS) because MS involves damage to various organs via oxidative stress or inflammation, similar to the changes associated with aging. We hypothesized that MS skin might exhibit more aging-like changes after milder, shorter-term UV irradiation than would normal animal skin under similar conditions, thus providing a useful model for skin aging. The authors therefore examined the skin from Tsumura Suzuki obese diabetic (TSOD) mice (MS model) and control Tsumura Suzuki non-obese (TSNO) mice before and after UV irradiation. Skin from TSOD mice had a thinner epidermis and dermis, a thicker fatty layer, reduced density and convolution of the fragmented collagen fibers, and upregulated expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, a dual marker for inflammation and aging, compared to the skin from TSNO mice. UV irradiation affected TSOD skin more severely than TSNO skin, resulting in various changes resembling those in aged human skin, including damage to the dermis and subcutaneous fatty tissue, infiltration of inflammatory cells, and further upregulation of TNF-α expression. These results suggest that UV-irradiated TSOD mice may provide a new model of skin aging and imply that skin from humans with MS is more susceptible to UV- or aging-related damage than normal human skin.
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