Cosmetics company Beiersdorf has teamed up with a German university to contribute to understanding of the skin that could lead to big developments in skin care and anti-ageing products.
Together with researchers of Charité University Medicine Berlin they were able to demonstrate the existence of an inner clock in human skin cells, which controls skin regeneration amongst other things.
Skin care future
Dr. Jörn Hendrik Reuter, head of the General Skin Care Laboratory at Beiersdorf says “the findings from our collaborative research could have a large influence on the skin care of the future.”
The Nivea skin care maker says the results of the collaborative research project open up completely new possibilities for the skin care of the future.
"The findings about the influence of Klf9 on cell division, for example, could be the impetus of the development of a new kind of anti-ageing care. We could try to bring skin that is out of synch back into rhythm with its inner clock or perhaps we can address problems caused by lifestyle with skin care that targets chronobiology," adds Reuter.
The research team studied the circadian rhythms of the stress hormone cortisol present in the skin in 20 test subjects at Beiersdorf's Test Center in Hamburg.
Furthermore, in the Berlin sleep lab cell samples were taken from 20 volunteer subjects in four-hour intervals over the course of 24 hours. The analysis of these samples showed that about 10 per cent of the genes in skin cells follow their own rhythm.
According to the researchers, these most likely correspond to the respective chronotypes. The molecule "Krüppel-like-factor 9" (Klf9) stood out in the samples: "We observed that Klf9 is mostly active during the day. When it was inactive more rapid cell division was observed," says Reuter.
When the research team increased the concentration of Klf9 in the samples, cell division was significantly slower.
The first results were published in the professional journal "Proceedings of the Academy of Science" (PNAS).
Florian Spörl, Thomas Blatt, Achim Kramer et al (2012): Krüppel-like factor 9 is a circadian transcription factor in human epidermis that controls proliferation of keratinocytes. In: Proceedings of the Academy of Science (PNAS), Jul 3; 109(27):10903-8. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1118641109.