After 20 years of research, Haifa scientists claim to have found the way to make elderly human skin young again – in lab rodents.
Conducted by Dr. Aviad Keren, Dr. Yaniv Keren, Prof. Yehuda Ullman, Prof. Amos Gilhar of the Haifa institutions, Dr. Marta Bertolini of the Monasterium Laboratory in Germany and Dr. Ralf Paus of the University of Manchester, the study has just been published in the prestigious journal Science Advances published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science under the title “Human organ rejuvenation by VEGF-A: Lessons from the skin.”
Using an old skin graft on young mice, they proved that it is possible to make skin and other organs young again via a change in molecular structure through all the layers of the skin.
To achieve this, ageing-research models are critically needed in which not only the key drivers of human organ ageing can be identified but also the most promising strategies to prevent getting old and to make humans young again through drugs that remove old cells can be tested on lab animals before using on patients, they continued.
The team previously grafted aged human skin on SCID young mice, but they didn’t know whether the rejuvenation of skin that they witnessed extended below the epidermis. To determine this, they used vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) to promote human organ rejuvenation in lab animals.
The ageing was were reversed when old human skin was transplanted on young SCID mice, thus confirming that all layers of human skin could become young again. In addition, the number of new blood vessels in the skin also increased.