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Oxygen May Help Fight Wrinkles Caused by UVB Radiation

Mice exposed to high concentration of oxygen after ultraviolet B exposure have less skin damage

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Mice placed in an oxygen chamber after prolonged exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation have fewer wrinkles and less skin thickening than mice that do not receive the oxygen treatment, according to research published online May 26 in the American Journal of Physiology -- Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Shigeo Kawada, Ph.D., of the University of Tokyo, and colleagues used 24 hairless mice divided into three groups: a group receiving no UVB (control group), a group receiving UVB three times a week for five weeks (UVB group), and another group that also received UVB on the same schedule followed by two hours in an oxygen chamber after each treatment (UVB+HO group).

The researchers found that the UVB and UVB+HO groups both developed wrinkling of the skin as well as increases in epidermal thickness, but the changes in the UVB+HO group were less severe. On a molecular level, hypoxia inducible factor alpha, which plays a role in angiogenesis, was significantly increased in the UVB group, but not in the UVB+HO group; and, vascular endothelial growth factor, which also has a role in angiogenesis, increased in both groups, but more so in the UVB group. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9, which had been thought to accelerate wrinkling by degrading the outer components of cells, decreased and remained the same with UVB exposure, respectively, in contrast to the researchers expectations.

"Although hyperoxia may be used for humans to prevent acute UVB-induced skin damage, potential oxidative damage should be considered. In this study, urinary 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine level was measured and no differences were observed in these levels in any of the groups. This indicates that abnormal DNA oxidative damage did not occur under the hyperoxic conditions present in this study. However, further studies to determine the possible oxidative side effects of hyperoxia are needed before it can be applied in humans," the authors write.

This study was funded by the Medical Science Technologies Co. and Masahide Co. Ltd.

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