Scientists at Newcastle University have identified that the activity of a key metabolic enzyme found in the batteries of human cells decline with age.
The discovery that the activity of mitochondrial complex II significantly decreases in older skin, brings experts a step closer to developing powerful anti-ageing treatments and cosmetic products which may be tailored to contract the decline in the activity levels.
Professor Mark Birch-Machin and Dr Amy Bowman who ran the study said “ As our bodies age we see that the batteries in our cells run down, known as decreased bio-energy, and harmful free radicals increase.”
“This process is easily seen in our skin as increased fine lines, wrinkles and sagging appears”
“Our study shows for the first time, in human skin that with increasing age there is a specific decrease in the activity of the key metabolic enzyme found in the batteries of the skin cells”
“This enzyme is the hinge between the two important ways of making energy in our cells and a decrease in its activity contributes to decreased bio-energy in ageing skin”
“Our research means that we now have a specific bio-marker, or a target, for developing and screening anti-ageing treatments and cosmetic creams that may counter this decline in bio-energy”
More research is required to fully understand the functional consequence in skin and other tissues, and to assess anti-ageing strategies in human skin.