Association of Diet With Skin Histological Features in UV-B–Exposed Mice

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Abstract

Importance

Long-term exposure to solar radiation produces deleterious photoaging of the skin. It is not known if diet can influence skin photoaging.

Objectives

To study the influence of a calorie-restricted diet and an obesity diet in mice exposed to long-term UV-B irradiation to assess if there is an association between diet and histopathological response to UV-B irradiation.

Design, Setting, and Participants

In this animal model study in an academic setting, the dorsal skin of SKH1 hairless mice receiving normal, calorie-restricted, and obesity diets was exposed to UV-B irradiation 3 times a week for 10 weeks and were compared with corresponding controls. The mice were placed in the following groups, with 8 animals in each group: (1) intact control (C) with regular diet and no UV-B exposure, (2) intact control with UV-B exposure (CR), (3) calorie-restricted diet (CrC), (4) calorie-restricted diet with UV-B exposure (CrR), (5) obesity diet (OC), and (6) obesity diet with UV-B exposure (OR). The experiment was conducted during October through December 2013. Tissue processing and histological analysis were completed in 2016.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Histomorphometric analysis was performed on paraffin-embedded skin sections stained by histological and immunohistochemical methods for estimation of epidermal thickness, epidermal proliferating cell nuclear antigen index, collagen I, elastic fibers, fibroblasts, mast cells, dermal cellularity, and adipose layer ratio. Changes in wrinkles were noted.

Results

Hairless female mice (age range, 6-8 weeks) were obtained. With a normal diet, changes from UV-B irradiation occurred in epidermal thickness, epidermal proliferating cell nuclear antigen index, collagen I, elastic fibers, fibroblasts, and mast cells, which were modestly influenced by an obesity diet. Calorie restriction influenced the skin in nonirradiated control animals, with higher values for most variables. After UV-B exposure in animals with calorie restriction, epidermal thickness was increased, but other variables were unaffected. Animals receiving the calorie-restricted diet lost weight when exposed to long-term UV-B irradiation. Wrinkles were reduced in the calorie-restricted control group and in UV-B–exposed animals who received the obesity diet.

Conclusions and Relevance

Dietary alterations seem to modify histopathological responses to UV-B exposure in the skin of hairless mice.

Level of Evidence

NA.

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