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Keywords:

  • fibroblast;
  • collagen;
  • anti-aging

Summary

Basement membranes are thin structures present in the extracellular matrix that provide a supporting framework on which epithelial and endothelial cells reside. Type IV collagen is present ubiquitously in all basement membranes and plays an important role in cell adhesion, migration differentiation, and growth. These are especially important at the dermoepidermal junction (DEJ) in skin. A reduction in the levels of DEJ proteins occurs in photodamaged skin and especially Type IV collagen at the base of a wrinkle. In these studies, the ability of a triple peptide complex (TPC) to stimulate the production of collagen IV in human skin fibroblasts and its effects on photoaged skin was investigated. Fibroblasts, matured to represent “aged” cells, were stimulated for 72 h with the TPC as well as the three individual peptides constituting the complex, and collagen IV production by the fibroblasts was determined immunochemically. The results show that stimulation with the individual peptides at doses found in 1% (v/v) of the TPC did not result in soluble collagen IV production above levels detected by the non-stimulated cells. However, after stimulation with 1% (v/v) of the TPC, collagen IV was produced by the cells (1.4 ng/ng total protein ± 0.4 SD, n = 5) when compared to control un-stimulated cells (0.32 ng/ng total protein ± 0.1 SD, n = 5). This indicates that the combination of the individual peptides is necessary to synergistically stimulate collagen IV production. These findings suggest that the TPC could play a role in the strengthening of the DEJ through its ability to produce collagen IV. In order to determine whether these results translated into significant effects in vivo, we performed two studies. In the first four-week study, a double blind, placebo-controlled and fully randomized clinical study on 22 healthy Caucasian volunteers displaying moderate periorbital wrinkles, a significant reduction in wrinkle parameters determined by profilometry was observed over the 4-week period in comparison to the placebo. This result was reproduced in a 12-week monadic study which also showed improvements in expertly graded wrinkle scores. Collectively, these results effectively demonstrate the anti-aging applications of the TPC.