Thursday, March 14, 2019

Scientists discover the "secret" to keep the skin young and protected

A type of special subcutaneous cells that become fatty tissue, a process that ceases over the years causing wrinkles, is "the secret" to keep the skin young and protected, says a study published today.
"We have discovered why skin loses its ability to form fat over the years," says Richard Gallo, head of the Department of Dermatology at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and senior author of the research.

The research, published today in the scientific journal Immunity, found that some of the cells in the dermis known as fibroblasts have the ability to become adipose tissue that is deposited under the skin and gives it a youthful appearance.
Similarly, fibroblasts produce a peptide (the union of a low number of amino acids), "which plays a critical role in the fight against infections," says the study conducted by a team at UCSD.
"The loss of ability of fibroblasts to become fat affects how skin fights infections and can influence the way the skin looks during aging," explains the researcher.
Gallo points out that this process is unique and typical of certain types of fibroblasts and therefore gaining weight is not the solution to obtain this fatty tissue that gives the skin a lush appearance and helps fight infections.
On the contrary, he adds, obesity "interferes with the ability to fight infections."
The study details that the TGF-Beta protein, which controls many cellular functions, is responsible for stopping "the conversion of some fibroblasts into fat and preventing the production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial peptide that helps protect against bacterial infections."
"Babies have an amount of this type of fat under their skin which makes it inherently good to fight against some types of infections," notes Gallo, noting that as they age, fibroblasts lose their ability to turn into fat.
"The skin with a layer of fat underneath looks much younger. Over the years, the appearance of this skin has a lot to do with the loss of subcutaneous fat, "he says.
The research, carried out in laboratory mice, used chemical blockers to inhibit the "aging" action of TGF-Beta, so that the "wrinkled" skin regained its fresh appearance.
The same result occurred when the action of this function of TGF-Beta was blocked through genetic techniques, which allowed the researchers to verify that this was the way to "stop the aging of the skin".
The researchers highlighted the importance of the study not only to recover the youthful appearance, but to help fight cutaneous infections that come to endanger the life of elderly patients.

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