In collaboration with the International University of Health and Welfare, Jichi Medical University and the National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Shiseido announced the identification of 'stem cell reservoirs' around sebaceous glands, which they investigated for potential skin rejuvenation.
As the company explained, with age, the skin loses elasticity resulting in signs of facial aging such as wrinkles and sagging, which are believed to be caused by the age-related deterioration of dermal fibroblasts controlling skin elasticity. In this collaborative research, the team had previously discovered that stem cells, which are the origin of these dermal fibroblasts, are well-maintained around the sebaceous glands in the skin.
In the present work, the team deemed these as “stem cell reservoirs.” Research has now begun to target these reservoirs for skin regeneration. Note that part of the following research results were presented at the IFSCC Congress in 2018 and won the Congress Award.
In relation, beauty treatments involving pressure, tapping, twisting and stretching skin, which have been know to benefit skin (although not quite how), were explored for their effects. The team applied various stimuli imitating each element to cultured skin (organ cultures) and observed the effects. Results confirmed that pressure proliferated stem cells in the aforementioned stem cell reservoirs. Further research on this effect was then explored.
Next, the team investigated whether the cells proliferated by said pressure could function in the dermal layer. They did so by observing the cells using an internally developed 3D imaging technology. Results showed that in pressurized skin, the proliferated cells connected to each other and reconstructed a network. This indicated pressure promoted stem cell proliferation, leading to a functional state.
The researchers also explored whether the cells that became functional with the application of pressure could regenerate the dermis. The reconstructed network was observed, by immunohistochemistry (to detect newly produced collagen), to in fact produce collagen, which in turn allows the dermis to regain elasticity. This suggested pressure induced the regeneration of the dermis.
The researchers concluded these studies show that by applying pressure to skin, stem cell proliferation and release from reservoirs is increased, in turn reconstructing dermal cells. These cells produce collagen, which ultimately supports the regeneration of skin for beauty applications.