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May 12, 2021

Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, sex

Skin aging is a multifactorial process consisting of two distinct and independent mechanisms: intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Youthful skin retains its turgor, resilience and pliability, among others, due to its high content of water. Daily external injury, in addition to the normal process of aging, causes loss of moisture. The key molecule involved in skin moisture is hyaluronic acid (HA) that has unique capacity in retaining water. There are multiple sites for the control of HA synthesis, deposition, cell and protein association and degradation, reflecting the complexity of HA metabolism. The enzymes that synthesize or catabolize HA and HA receptors responsible for many of the functions of HA are all multigene families with distinct patterns of tissue expression. Understanding the metabolism of HA in the different layers of the skin and the interactions of HA with other skin components will facilitate the ability to modulate skin moisture in a rational manner.

Keywords: hyaluronic acid, hyaluronic acid synthases, hyaluronidases, CD44, RHAMM, skin aging.

Human skin aging is a complex biological process, not yet fully understood. It is the result of two biologically independent processes. The first is intrinsic or innate aging, an unpreventable process, which affects the skin in the same pattern as it affects all internal organs. The second is extrinsic aging, which is the result of exposure to external factors, mainly ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, that is also referred to as photoaging.1 Intrinsic skin aging is influenced by hormonal changes that occur with age,2 such as the gradual decreased production of sex hormones from the mid-twenties and the diminution of estrogens and progesterone associated with menopause. It is well established that the deficiency in estrogens and androgens results in collagen degradation, dryness, loss of elasticity, epidermal atrophy and wrinkling of the skin.3

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