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Rejuvenating old human skin through VEGF-A

Journal Club July 2022

Journal ClubJournal Club

Journal Club, hosted by Dr. Oliver Medvedik, will return on July 26, 2022 12:00 PM Eastern Time. This month, we are going to be taking a look at a recent paper where researchers showed that old human skin rejuvenated when implanted in young mice [1]. The study helps to pave the way for therapies that may one day rejuvenate aged organs and tissues.


Transplanting aged human skin onto young SCID/beige mice morphologically rejuvenates the xenotransplants. This is accompanied by angiogenesis, epidermal repigmentation, and substantial improvements in key aging-associated biomarkers, including ß-galactosidase, p16ink4a, SIRT1, PGC1α, collagen 17A, and MMP1. Angiogenesis- and hypoxia-related pathways, namely, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and HIF1A, are most up-regulated in rejuvenated human skin. This rejuvenation cascade, which can be prevented by VEGF-A-neutralizing antibodies, appears to be initiated by murine VEGF-A, which then up-regulates VEGF-A expression/secretion within aged human skin. While intradermally injected VEGF-loaded nanoparticles suffice to induce a molecular rejuvenation signature in aged human skin on old mice, VEGF-A treatment improves key aging parameters also in isolated, organ-cultured aged human skin, i.e., in the absence of functional skin vasculature, neural, or murine host inputs. This identifies VEGF-A as the first pharmacologically pliable master pathway for human organ rejuvenation in vivo and demonstrates the potential of our humanized mouse model for clinically relevant aging research.


[1] Keren, A., Bertolini, M., Keren, Y., Ullmann, Y., Paus, R., & Gilhar, A. (2022). Human organ rejuvenation by VEGF-A: Lessons from the skin.Β Science Advances,Β 8(25), eabm6756.

About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 600 articles on the topic, interviewed over 100 of the leading researchers in the field, hosted livestream events focused on aging, as well as attending various medical industry conferences. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, Swiss Monthly, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve is one of three recipients of the 2020 H+ Innovator Award and shares this honour with Mirko Ranieri – Google AR and Dinorah Delfin – Immortalists Magazine. The H+ Innovator Award looks into our community and acknowledges ideas and projects that encourage social change, achieve scientific accomplishments, technological advances, philosophical and intellectual visions, author unique narratives, build fascinating artistic ventures, and develop products that bridge gaps and help us to achieve transhumanist goals. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project.
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