Air Pollution, Autophagy, and Skin Aging: Impact of Particulate Matter (PM) on Human Dermal Fibroblasts.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Sep 12 ;19(9). Epub 2018 Sep 12. PMID: 30213068
A World Health Organization (WHO) report from 2016 states that over 3 million people die annually from air pollution, which places air pollution as the world's largest single environmental health risk factor. Particulate matter (PM) is one of the main components of air pollution, and there is increasing evidence that PM exposure exerts negative effects on the human skin. To see the impact of air pollution on skin aging, we analyzed the effect of PM exposure on human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) with Western blot, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and gene analysis. Cultured HDFs were exposed to PMat a concentration of 30µg/cm² for 24 h, and their gene/protein expression of inflammatory cytokines, fibroblast chemical mediators, and autophagy were assessed. A total of 1977 genes were found to be differentially expressed following PM exposure. We observed a significantly increased expression of pro-inflammatory genes interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-33 in dermal fibroblasts exposed to PM. Protein expression of IL-6 and IL-8 also significantly increased, which complemented our gene analysis results. In addition, there was a significant increase in cytochrome P450 (CYP1A1, CYP1B1), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-1, MMP-3) mRNA expression, and significant decrease in transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, collagen type I alpha chain (COL1A1, COL1A2), and elastin (ELN) mRNA expression in PM-exposed dermal fibroblasts. Protein expression of MMP-1 was significantly increased and that of TGF-β and procollagen profoundly decreased, similar to the gene analysis results. Autophagy, an integrated cellular stress response, was also increased while transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis provided evidence of PM internalization in the autolysosomes. Taken together, our results demonstrate that PMcontributes to skin inflammation and skin aging via impaired collagen synthesis. Increased autophagy in our study suggests a reparative role of autophagy in HDFs stressed with PM, but its biological significance requires further research.