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Topical applications of an emollient reduce circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in chronically aged humans: a pilot clinical study.


Maximus Peto’s Commentary

I found this study interesting: topical application of an emollient to the skin (i.e. applying lotion) “normalized” several * systemic* inflammatory factors such as IL-6 in older humans. This makes me wonder: how much of the increase in circulating inflammatory factors during aging could be caused by dysfunctional, damaged, or senescent skin? I wonder how long this reduction of inflammation persisted after the application of emollient.


Topical applications of an emollient reduce circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in chronically aged humans: a pilot clinical study.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2019 Nov;33(11):2197-2201.
Ye L, Mauro TM, Dang E, Wang G, Hu LZ, Yu C, Jeong S, Feingold K, Elias PM, Lv CZ, Man MQ
DOI: 10.1111/jdv.15540
PubMed publication date (edat): 3/6/2019

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
While increased levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines in chronologically aged humans have been linked to the development of ageing-associated chronic disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease), approaches that reduce circulating cytokines are not yet available. In chronologically aged mice, we recently demonstrated that epidermal dysfunction largely accounts for age-associated elevations in circulating cytokine levels, and that improving epidermal function reduced circulating cytokine levels.

OBJECTIVE:
We performed a pilot study to determine whether improving epidermal function reduces circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in aged humans.

METHODS:
Thirty-three aged humans were topically treated twice-daily for 30 days, with ≈ 3 mL of an emollient, previously shown to improve epidermal function, while untreated, aged humans and a cohort of young volunteers served as controls. Changes in epidermal function and levels of three key, age-related, plasma cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα) were measured at baseline and after treatment, using Luminex 200™ system.

RESULTS:
We also found significantly higher baseline levels of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα in aged vs. young humans (P < 0.001), as previously reported. Topical applications of the barrier repair emollient significantly enhanced epidermal permeability barrier function (P < 0.01) and stratum corneum hydration (P < 0.05). In parallel, circulating levels of IL-1β and IL-6 normalized, while TNFα levels declined substantially. CONCLUSION: The results of this preliminary study suggest that a larger clinical trial should be performed to confirm whether improving epidermal function also can reduce circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in aged humans, while also possibly attenuating the downstream development of chronic inflammatory disorders in the aged humans. PMID: 30835878
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Maximus Peto

Max Peto is a longevity researcher and founder of Long Life Labs. A biochemist by training, he studies the biochemistry of aging and longevity and has worked with research organizations such as SENS Research Foundation, Methuselah Foundation, BioAge Labs, Life Extension Foundation, and Ichor Therapeutics. His work at Long Life Labs is focused on empowering people to understand and manage the most critical factors for better health and longer life.

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