Cell Adhesion: A New Approach to Tissue Protection

The interaction of cells with their environment is mediated by specific receptors on their surface. In the skin’s extracellular matrix, a family of membrane receptors called integrins is believed to play an important role in intercellular adhesion and cell-protein adhesion, and thereby in the organization and assembly of the extracellular matrix on which skin firmness depends.

A great deal has been published on the influence of age and UV on the expression of keratinocyte integrins, but there is little published data on the influence of UV on the expression of fibroblast integrins and cell adhesion.

In order to better understand the potential participation of integrins in the adhesion phenomenon and in particular the adhesion of skin fibroblasts, we studied the adhesion capacities and the expression of membrane integrins of cells in the presence or absence of exposure to UV radiation. Those results are reported here, as well as the possibility of an active ingredient to protect cells from the deleterious effects of UV.

Membrane receptors are classified according to their structure into four families: LEC-CAMs, cadherins, immunoglobulins and integrins. The family of LEC-CAMs (Lectin Cell Adhesion Molecules), or selectins, includes proteins involved in the adhesion of leukocytes to endothelial cells in the course of inflammation. Cadherins are calcium-dependent proteins that are the principal adhesion molecules of intercellular junctions.

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