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Stem cell and extracellular matrix-related molecules increase following melatonin treatment in the skin of postmenopausal rats



The menopause has a negative effect in the skin. Melatonin affects skin functions and structures through actions mediated by cell-surface and putative-nuclear receptors expressed in skin cell. We have therefore determined the effects of melatonin treatment on stem cell in the epidermis and extracellular matrix related molecules in the dermis the skin of postmenopausal rats. A total of 45 female rats were divided into 5 groups: control group, group A [ovariectomy (OVX)], group B (OVX +10 mg/kg/day melatonin), group C (OVX +30 mg/kg/day melatonin), group S (sham operated + 10 mg/kg/day melatonin). Ventral skin samples were excised at 12th week after ovariectomy. Hematoxylin-eosin, periodic acid- methylamine silver, elastic van Gieson staining techniques were used to measure histomorphometrically the thickness of elastic fibers and basement membrane, depths of the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat layer. Immunohistochemical staining methods were used for fibroblast growth factor β (FGF β), collagen type I, fibronectin, β-catenin, c-kit, c-Myc evaluation. Epidermal thickness, subcutaneous fat layer, and elastic fibers were significantly decreased in group C, and there was a significant increase after melatonin treatment. Although there was no difference in dermal thickness of group C, melatonin also significantly increased the dermal thickness. High FGF β, type I collagen, fibronectin, β-catenin, c-Myc immunoreactivity developed following melatonin in all groups. Thus melatonin treatment of postmenopausal rats was mostly due to the decrease of stem cell and extracellular matrix-related molecules in the skin.