Identification of Apolipoprotein D as a Dermal Fibroblast Marker of Human Aging for Development of Skin Rejuvenation Therapy

Kento Takaya, Toru Asou, Kazuo Kishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The current understanding of skin aging is that senescent fibroblasts accumulate within the dermis and subcutaneous fat to cause abnormal tissue remodeling and extracellular matrix dysfunction, triggering a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). A novel therapeutic approach to prevent skin aging is to specifically eliminate senescent dermal fibroblasts; this requires the identification of specific protein markers for senescent cells. Apolipoprotein D (ApoD) is involved in lipid metabolism and antioxidant responses and is abundantly expressed in tissues affected by age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis. However, its behavior and role in skin aging remain unclear. In this study, we examined whether ApoD functions as a marker of aging using human dermal fibroblast aging models. In cellular senescence models induced through replicative aging and ionizing radiation exposure, ApoD expression was upregulated at the gene and protein levels and correlated with senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity and the decreased uptake of the proliferation marker bromodeoxyuridine, which was concomitant with the upregulation of SASP genes. Furthermore, ApoD-positive cells were found to be more abundant in the aging human dermis using fluorescence flow cytometry. These results suggest that ApoD is a potential clinical marker for identifying aging dermal fibroblasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalRejuvenation Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Apr 1


  • apolipoprotein
  • cellular senescence
  • dermis
  • fibroblast
  • senescence-associated secretory phenotype
  • skin aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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