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Mitochondrial damage and ageing using skin as a model organ

Lookup NU author(s): Laura Hudson, Dr Amy Bowman, Dr Eyman Rashdan, Professor Mark Birch-MachinORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Ageing describes the progressive functional decline of an organism over time, leading to an increase in susceptibility to age-related diseases and eventually to death, and it is a phenomenon observed across a wide range of organisms. Despite a vast repertoire of ageing studies performed over the past century, the exact causes of ageing remain unknown. For over 50 years it has been speculated that mitochondria play a key role in the ageing process, due mainly to correlative data showing an increase in mitochondrial dysfunction, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) with age. However, the exact role of the mitochondria in the ageing process remains unknown. The skin is often used to study human ageing, due to its easy accessibility, and the observation that the ageing process is able to be accelerated in this organ via environmental insults, such as ultra violet radiation (UVR). This provides a useful tool to investigate the mechanisms regulating ageing and in particular, the role of the mitochondria. Observations from dermatological and photoageing studies can provide useful insights into chronological ageing of the skin and other organs such as the brain and liver. Moreover, a wide range of diseases are associated with ageing, therefore, understanding the cause of the ageing process as well as regulatory mechanisms involved could provide potentially advantageous therapeutic targets for the prevention or treatment of such diseases

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hudson L, Bowman A, Rashdan E, Birch-Machin MA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Maturitas

Year: 2016

Volume: 93

Pages: 34-40

Print publication date: 01/11/2016

Online publication date: 07/05/2016

Acceptance date: 25/04/2016

ISSN (print): 0378-5122

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4111


DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.04.021