Research – mark rinnerthaler
Skin aging: The skin is our largest organ and protects us against a multitude of hostile influences from the environment. Furthermore skin samples are frequent byproducts from surgery and can be obtained over a wide range of different ages. We are generally interested in changes in gene expression taking place during aging. Therefore we have performed expression profiling experiments with young and old skin samples and identified a number of genes which are either up- or down-regulated during the aging process. In addition we have performed expression profiling on human primary keratinocytes in cell culture with and without the addition of vitamin D3. Recent reports show that vitamin D3 influences not only calcium metabolism but also autophagy and inflammatory processes. Vitamin D3 is able to stimulate autophagy by down-regulating the expression of mTORC1 and to attenuate inflammatory responses by down-regulating NF-kappaB activity. Therefore vitamin D3 has positive effects on the aging process which we further want to investigate. This is in close collaboration with the Department of Dermatology of the PMU in Salzburg.