Thu, Mar 30, 2017 | updated 06:15 AM IST

Study reveals why wound heals slowly with age

Updated: Nov 27, 2016 13:07 IST

Washington D.C [US], Nov.27 (ANI): A recent study has found that why wounds heal slowly as we grow older.

Recent experiments at The Rockefeller University explored this physiological puzzle by examining molecular changes in an aging mouse's skin. The results, described November 17 in Cell, delineate a new aspect of how the body heals wounds.

"Within days of an injury, skin cells migrate in and close the wound, a process that requires coordination with nearby immune cells. Our experiments have shown that, with aging, disruptions to communication between skin cells and their immune cells slow down this step," says Elaine Fuchs, the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and head of the Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology.

"This discovery suggests new approaches to developing treatments that could speed healing among older people," adds Fuchs, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Return of the skin cells

Whenever a wound occurs, the body needs to repair it quickly to restore its protective skin barrier. "Wound healing is one of the most complex processes to occur in the human body," says Brice Keyes, a former post-doc in Fuch's lab and currently a researcher at Calico Life Sciences.

"Numerous types of cells, molecular pathways, and signaling systems go to work over timescales that vary from seconds to months. Changes related to aging have been observed in every step of this

process." Keyes and Siqi Liu, an immunology specialist and a current Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow in in the lab, are co-first authors of the Cellarticle.

Both skin cells and immune cells contribute to this elaborate process, which begins with the formation of a scab. New skin cells known as keratinocytes later travel in as a sheet to fill in the wound under the scab.

The team focused on this latter step in healing in two-month-old versus 24-month-old mice -- roughly equivalent to 20- and 70-year-old humans. They found that among the older mice, keratinocytes were much slower to migrate into the skin gap under the scab, and, as a result, wounds often took days longer to close.

Wound healing is known to require specialized immune cells that reside in the skin. The researchers' new experiments showed that following an injury, the keratinocytes at the wound edge talk to these immune cells by producing proteins known as Skints that appear to tell the immune cells to stay around and assist in filling the gap. In older mice, the keratinocytes failed to produce these immune signals.

Seeking a reversal

To see if they could enhance Skint signaling in older skin, the researchers turned to a protein that resident immune cells normally release after injury. When they applied this protein to young and old mouse skin tissue in a petri dish, they saw an increase in keratinocyte migration, which was most pronounced in the older skin.In effect, the old keratinocytes behaved more youthfully.

The scientists hope the same principle could be applied to developing treatments for age-related delays in healing.

"Our work suggests it may be possible to develop drugs to activate pathways that help aging skin cells to communicate better with their immune cell neighbors, and so boost the signals that normally decline with age," Fuchs says.(ANI)

Washington.D.C. [USA], Mar. 29 (ANI): A study finds that gastric acid suppression drugs increase the risk of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection - which causes diarrhea and life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

Full Story >>

Ranchi [India], Mar. 28 (ANI): Health Minister of Jharkhand, Ramchandra Chandravanshi has recently claimed that the state has come a long way from the day when Jharkhand was on 18th number among states as far as their healthcare services were concerned. It now stands third in the country, according to an independent survey.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): Exposure to fungal product, called aflatoxin, is believed to cause up to 80 percent of liver cancer cases in many parts of the world.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Attention dog lovers! With just six months of training, a German Shepherd can accurately detect breast cancer, a study finds.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A recent study has found that a sleepless night impairs your ability to interpret subtle expressions of happiness and sadness.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): When it comes to new moms' workout programs, less is more and so, according to a Kansas State University researcher, new moms may need a bit more flexibility and support to ease back into exercise after giving birth.

Full Story >>

New approach to diagnosing mental disorders

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 10:48 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A consortium of psychiatrists and psychologists has proposed a new approach to diagnosing mental disorders.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Boosting natural brain opioids may be a better way to treat anxiety, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Fecal transplant offers hope for autistic kids

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 09:37 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): In this new era of medical therapy dawning, fecal transplants are poised to help fight a range of conditions, from deadly superbugs to obesity and now, autism is in the firing line.

Full Story >>

Thiruvallur (Chennai) [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): A highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine, Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) has affected Karani village on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu's Tiruvallur district.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): The findings of the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 confirm what we all knew from clinical evidence - that hypertension has become a major health concern among the Indian population, with as many as 22% Indians hypertensive.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A prescription weight-loss medication can decrease the urge to use opiates such as oxycodone, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has discovered a new gene that is associated with Tau accumulation, which is one of the defining features of Alzheimer disease (AD).

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): All it takes is the flip of a protein "switch" within the tiny wire-like capillaries of the brain to increase the blood flow that ensures optimal brain function.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): Scientists have found that stem cell therapy repairs damaged lungs - raising hopes of a cure for the crippling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.

Full Story >>

New method can cut dental implant failure

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 09:34 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a new method to reduce dental implant failure.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a fluorogenic probe that can detect the activity of multidrug-resistant pathogens in an assay system.

Full Story >>

Virus hydrophobicity can help purify vaccines

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 07:46 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has found that hydrophobic proteins on virus surfaces can help purify vaccines.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has shed light on why survivors of childhood brain tumours may be prone to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and early death.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 (ANI): Continuing its efforts to raise awareness on tuberculosis and its diagnosis, Division of Clinical Microbiology & Molecular Medicine Department of Laboratory Medicine, AIIMS, and BD (Becton Dickinson India) for the third consecutive year organized a symposium today on "challenges in diagnosis and eradication of tuberculosis".

Full Story >>