© 2015 Demirovic et al.Intracellular autophagy (AP) is a stress response that is enhanced under conditions of limitation of amino acids, growth factors and other nutrients, and also when macromolecules become damaged, aggregated and fibrillated. Aging is generally accompanied by an increase in intracellular stress due to all the above factors. Therefore, we have compared the basal levels of AP in serially passaged human facial skin fibroblasts undergoing aging and replicative senescence in vitro, and ex vivo in the skin biopsies from the photo-protected and photo-exposed area of the arms of 20 healthy persons of young and old ages. Immunofluorescence microscopy, employing antibodies against a specific intracellular microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain-3 (LC3) as a well established marker of AP, showed a 5-fold increase in the basal level of LC3 in near senescent human skin fibroblasts. However, no such age-related increase in LC3 fluorescence and AP could be detected in full thickness skin sections from the biopsies obtained from 10 healthy young (age 25 to 30 yr) and 10 old (age 60 to 65 yr) donors. Furthermore, there was no difference in the basal level of LC3 in the skin sections from photo-protected and photo-exposed areas of the arm. Thus, in normal conditions, the aging phenotype of the skin cells in culture and in the body appears to be different in the case of AP.
Demirovic, D., Nizard, C., & Rattan, S. I. S. (2015). Basal level of autophagy is increased in aging human skin fibroblasts in vitro, but not in old skin. PLoS ONE, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0126546