Epigenetic Regulation of Skin Cells in Natural Aging and Premature Aging Diseases

Donata Orioli, Elena Dellambra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Skin undergoes continuous renewal throughout an individual's lifetime relying on stem cell functionality. However, a decline of the skin regenerative potential occurs with age. The accumulation of senescent cells over time probably reduces tissue regeneration and contributes to skin aging. Keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts undergo senescence in response to several intrinsic or extrinsic stresses, including telomere shortening, overproduction of reactive oxygen species, diet, and sunlight exposure. Epigenetic mechanisms directly regulate skin homeostasis and regeneration, but they also mark cell senescence and the natural and pathological aging processes. Progeroid syndromes represent a group of clinical and genetically heterogeneous pathologies characterized by the accelerated aging of various tissues and organs, including skin. Skin cells from progeroid patients display molecular hallmarks that mimic those associated with naturally occurring aging. Thus, investigations on progeroid syndromes strongly contribute to disclose the causal mechanisms that underlie the aging process. In the present review, we discuss the role of epigenetic pathways in skin cell regulation during physiologic and premature aging.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 12 2018


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