Gillbro JM, Merinville E, Olsson M, Al-Bader T, Klack A, Visdal-Johnsen L, Mavon A
Int J Cosmet Sci 37 Suppl 1 (-) 9-14 [2015-10-00; online 2015-06-27]
The need for effective 'anti-ageing' treatments, in particular for the management of photodamaged skin, prompted us to develop a novel method to identify new active ingredients. The model utilized a gene profiling study with corresponding connectivity mapping (Cmap) to identify novel anti-ageing compounds using all-trans retinoic acid (RA) as the lead compound due to its beneficial effect on photodamaged skin and skin firmness. A vehicle-controlled clinical study including nine healthy Caucasian female volunteers aged 57 ± 7 (mean ± SEM) exhibiting photodamage on their lower outer forearms was conducted. The volunteers applied RA once daily on photodamaged skin for 7 days, and biopsies were subjected to Affymetrix gene arrays. Connectivity mapping (Cmap), examining hundreds of gene expression profiles, was run on the gene signature of RA-treated photodamaged skin to identify small bioactive compounds. Affymetrix gene array identified 19 genes significantly differentially expressed after application of RA. Corresponding Cmap analysis revealed six natural bioactive compounds including N-acetyl aspartic acid (A-A-A) showing similar activity to RA on the differentially expressed genes identified. Based on RA mimicking gene array activity, potential use within skincare on molecular size, safety assessment and sourcing, we identified the natural amino acid, A-A-A as a potential candidate to treat ageing skin.