Arch Dermatol Res 2016 Aug 4;308(6):443-8. Epub 2016 Jun 4.
Department of Biology, Institute of Molecular Health Sciences, ETH Zurich, Otto-Stern-Weg 7, HPL F12, 8093, Zurich, Switzerland.
Reduced levels of the cellular antioxidant glutathione are associated with premature skin aging, cancer and impaired wound healing, but the in vivo functions of glutathione in the skin remain largely unknown. Therefore, we analyzed mice lacking the modifier subunit of the glutamate cysteine ligase (Gclm), the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step of glutathione biosynthesis. Glutathione levels in the skin of these mice were reduced by 70 %. However, neither skin development and homeostasis, nor UVA- or UVB-induced apoptosis in the epidermis were affected. Histomorphometric analysis of excisional wounds did not reveal wound healing abnormalities in young Gclm-deficient mice, while the area of hyperproliferative epithelium as well as keratinocyte proliferation were affected in aged mice. These findings suggest that low levels of glutathione are sufficient for wound repair in young mice, but become rate-limiting upon aging.