Glucocorticoid (GC) excess adversely affects skin integrity, inducing thinning and impaired wound healing. Aged skin, particularly that which has been photo-exposed, shares a similar phenotype. Previously, we demonstrated age-induced expression of the GC-activating enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) in cultured human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). Here, we determined 11β-HSD1 levels in human skin biopsies from young and older volunteers and examined the aged 11β-HSD1 KO mouse skin phenotype. 11β-HSD1 activity was elevated in aged human and mouse skin and in PE compared with donor-matched photo-protected human biopsies. Age-induced dermal atrophy with deranged collagen structural organization was prevented in 11β-HSD1 KO mice, which also exhibited increased collagen density. We found that treatment of HDFs with physiological concentrations of cortisol inhibited rate-limiting steps in collagen biosynthesis and processing. Furthermore, topical 11β-HSD1 inhibitor treatment accelerated healing of full-thickness mouse dorsal wounds, with improved healing also observed in aged 11β-HSD1 KO mice. These findings suggest that elevated 11β-HSD1 activity in aging skin leads to increased local GC generation, which may account for adverse changes occurring in the elderly, and 11β-HSD1 inhibitors may be useful in the treatment of age-associated impairments in dermal integrity and wound healing.
Ana Tiganescu, Abd A. Tahrani, Stuart A. Morgan, Marcela Otranto, Alexis Desmoulière, Lianne Abrahams, Zaki Hassan-Smith, Elizabeth A. Walker, Elizabeth H. Rabbitt, Mark S. Cooper, Kurt Amrein, Gareth G. Lavery, Paul M. Stewart
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.