Skin senescence is characterized by a decrease in extracellular matrix and the accumulation of senescent fibroblasts in the dermis, and their secretion of humoral factors. Ependymin-related protein 1 (EPDR1) is involved in abnormal fibroblast metabolism and collagen deposition, however, its relation to skin aging is unclear. We investigated whether and how EPDR1 is involved in age-related dermal deterioration. When young dermal fibroblasts and senescent cells were co-cultured in a semipermeable membrane separation system, the young fibroblasts showed decreased gene expression of collagen type I α1 chain (COL1A1) and elastin, and increased expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)1 and MMP3. Senescence marker expression and EPDR1 production were increased in the culture medium of senescent cells. Treatment of young fibroblasts with recombinant EPDR1, enhanced matrix-related gene expression and suppressed COL1A1 expression, whereas EPDR1 knockdown had the opposite effects. EPDR1 gene and protein expression were increased in aged skin, compared to young skin. These results suggest that senescent cells affect nearby fibroblasts, in part through EPDR1 secretion, and exert negative effects on matrix production in the dermis. These results may lead to the discovery of potential candidate targets in the development of skin anti-aging therapies.
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