Background: Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are known to play an important role in the anti-aging process of skin. However, the exact molecular mechanism underlying the anti-aging effect of GAGs is not fully understood.
Objectives: This study was conducted to investigate the influence of GAGs on proliferation, collagen synthesis, and collagen synthesis-related signaling pathways in human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs).
Methods: HDFs obtained by skin biopsy were treated with differently concentrated GAGs. Viability and proliferation was determined using an MTT assay. RT-qPCR and ELISA were used for quantitative determination of collagen synthesis. Enzyme and gene expression related with collagen turnover process were evaluated by Western blot and immunocytochemistry.
Results: GAGs stimulated fibroblast proliferation and the synthesis of type I collagen. Furthermore, GAGs consistently reduced MMP-1 and increased TIMP-1 via inhibition of ERK signaling as well as activation of TGF-β/SMAD signaling in HDFs.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate the application of GAGs as potential effective anti-aging agents to reduce wrinkles.