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Lipid-signaling Molecule May Have Anti-aging Effects

Posted: August 14, 2008

Activating the expression of a lipid-signaling molecule in the skin may have anti-aging effects, according to Korean scientists. Research published in the Journal of Dermatological Science investigated the effect of the activator K6PC-5 on the activity of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P)—a molecule that, in its role as a cell messenger, helps regulate cell proliferation, differentiation and survival.

A growing body of scientific literature has documented the physiological effects of S1P. However, according to the scientists, led by Seung Hun Lee at the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, no study has investigated the effect of chemically inducing S1P expression by the activator K6PC-5 on aging skin.

Proliferation of dermal fibroblasts

Hun Lee and the team first investigated in vitro the effect of K6PC-5 on human dermal fibroblasts, as these are known to decrease as part of the aging process, finding that the activator promoted the proliferation of the cells. In addition, the K6PC-5 significantly promoted collagen synthesis, according to the scientists.

In order to investigate whether the positive effect of K6PC-5 was due to its activation of S1P, the scientists measured the intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. S1P is known to increase intracellular Ca2+ and the study showed that K6PC-5 increased the concentration of Ca2+, therefore supporting the team’s hypothesis that the molecule’s positive effect on fibroblast and collagen synthesis is due to its effect on S1P.