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Cell Senescence-Independent Changes of Human Skin Fibroblasts with Age

Fullard, Nicola; Wordsworth, James; Welsh, Ciaran; Maltman, Victoria; Bascom, Charlie; Tasseff, Ryan; Isfort, Robert; Costello, Lydia; Scanlan, Rebekah-Louise; Przyborski, Stefan; Shanley, Daryl

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James Wordsworth

Ciaran Welsh

Charlie Bascom

Ryan Tasseff

Robert Isfort

Lydia Costello

Rebekah-Louise Scanlan

Daryl Shanley


Skin ageing is defined, in part, by collagen depletion and fragmentation that leads to a loss of mechanical tension. This is currently believed to reflect, in part, the accumulation of senescent cells. We compared the expression of genes and proteins for components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) as well as their regulators and found that in vitro senescent cells produced more matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) than proliferating cells from adult and neonatal donors. This was consistent with previous reports of senescent cells contributing to increased matrix degradation with age; however, cells from adult donors proved significantly less capable of producing new collagen than neonatal or senescent cells, and they showed significantly lower myofibroblast activation as determined by the marker α-SMA. Functionally, adult cells also showed slower migration than neonatal cells. We concluded that the increased collagen degradation of aged fibroblasts might reflect senescence, the reduced collagen production likely reflects senescence-independent processes.


Fullard, N., Wordsworth, J., Welsh, C., Maltman, V., Bascom, C., Tasseff, R., …Shanley, D. (2024). Cell Senescence-Independent Changes of Human Skin Fibroblasts with Age. Cells, 13(8), Article 659.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 20, 2024
Online Publication Date Apr 9, 2024
Publication Date Apr 2, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 18, 2024
Publicly Available Date Apr 19, 2024
Journal Cells
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 8
Article Number 659
Keywords skin, ageing, senescence, fibroblast, TGF, collagen, metalloproteinase, fibrosis, extracellular matrix, myofibroblast
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