Original Article| Volume 104, ISSUE 4, P518-522, April 1995

Topical Tretinoin Increases the Tropoelastin and Fibronectin Content of Photoaged Hairless Mouse Skin

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      Topical tretinoin treatment of photoaged hairless mice has been shown in previous studies to stimulate formation of a subepidermal zone of new connective tissue characterized by enhanced collagen synthesis. The aims of this study were to localize and/or quantify elastin, fibronectin, and glycosaminoglycans in the same model. Hairless mice (Skh-1) were irradiated thrice weekly for 10 weeks with gradually increasing doses of ultraviolet (up to 4.5 minimal erythema doses per exposure) from Westinghouse FS-40 bulbs. Mice were then treated five times a week with either 0.05% tretinoin, the ethanol:propylene glycol vehicle, or nothing for another 10 weeks. Controls included mice sacrificed after 10 weeks of ultraviolet treatment and age-matched untreated animals. The distribution of elastin and fibronectin was examined by immunofluorescence microscopy, which revealed fine fibrils In the subepidermal zone in tretinoin-treated skin. A quantitative slot-blot immunobinding assay showed that tretinoin induced a threefold higher amount of tropoelastin compared with controls. Insoluble elastin content (desmosine levels) was similar in all groups. Although fibronectin content was increased by ultraviolet radiation, tretinoin treatment induced the largest increase. In contrast, the amount of glycosaminoglycans, although increased by UVB radiation, was reduced by tretinoin treatment.



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