The vast majority of research on the impact of age on skin wound healing (WH) compares old animals to young ones. The middle age is often ignored in biogerontological research despite the fact that many functions that decline in an age-dependent manner have starting points in mid-life. With this in mind, we examined gene expression patterns during skin WH in late middle-aged versus young adult male mice, using the head and back punch models. The rationale behind this study was that the impact of age would first be detectable at the transcriptional level. We pinpointed several pathways which were over-activated in the middle-aged mice, both in the intact skin and during WH. Among them were various metabolic, immune-inflammatory and growth-promoting pathways. These transcriptional changes were much more pronounced in the head than in the back. In summary, the middle age has a significant impact on gene expression in intact and healing skin. It seems that the head punch model is more sensitive to the effect of age than the back model, and we suggest that it should be more widely applied in aging research on wound healing.
- Wound healing