Glucosamine sulphate shows promise in skin ageing management
Glucosamine sulphate (GS) appears to have a positive effect on epidermal and dermal markers associated with age, according to a study, suggesting the potential of GS for use in the management of skin ageing.
Exposure to GS enhanced ex vivo the expression of the hyaluronic acid receptor CD44 in the epidermis, the epidermal glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content and de novo collagen synthesis. Similarly, oral intake of GS produced an improvement in the expression of various age-related markers involved in epidermal differentiation or extracellular dermal matrix formation. [Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2017;30:36–41]
“It is commonly accepted that CD44 plays an important role in maintaining matrix stability and regulating cell-cell adhesion,” the authors said. “Therefore, increasing the expression of CD44 is important in the management of skin ageing,” and this is supported by the improved water-holding capacities and maintenance of water content of tissues that resulted from the notable increase in GAGs.
They also pointed out that the observed increases in mRNA expression of several important markers associated with age—such as fibromodulin (a vital element in the wound-healing process), biglycan (involved in structural, space-filling functions in the skin) and hyaluronan synthase (responsible for the synthesis of a major extracellular matrix component in the epidermis and essential for skin repair), among others—further reinforced the potential of GS in the management of skin ageing.
GS beneficial for skin ageing too
An aminomonosaccharide that is naturally present in all human tissues, GS serves as the main amino sugar substrate for the biosynthesis of hyaluronic acid and of heparan sulphate, and subsequently for the production of proteoglycans. These substances have all been shown to be beneficial for skin hydration, wrinkle reduction and management of skin pigmentation disorders, the authors said. [J Cosmet Dermatol 2006;5:309–315; Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2004;17:77–83;207–213]
To determine whether GS might also have an impact throughout selected markers of the skin ageing process and the skin physiology in healthy female volunteers, the authors conducted an ex vivo and a healthy volunteer study.
In the first study, human skin samples were derived from three Caucasian healthy women aged between 32 and 50 years. Each woman’s samples were prepared three ways: unexposed to GS, exposed at 150 μg/mL and at 300 μg/mL.
Compared with nonexposure, exposure to GS at both doses or the higher dose led to a statistically significant increase in the expression of CD44 (mean scores, 3.88 at 150 μg/mL; p=0.008 and 3.96 at 300 μg/mL; p=0.02), collagen type IV (mean score, 2.32 at 300 μg/mL; p=0.014) and GAGs (mean scores, 2.35 at 150 μg/mL and 2.42 at 300 μg/mL; p≤0.015 for both).
“GS also stimulated the synthesis of neocollagen in a dose-dependent way, with samples incubated in a medium containing GS at 300 μg/mL presenting with the highest amount of neocollagen,” the authors noted.
In the second study, eight healthy women at least 50 years of age and with Fitzpatrick phototypes II (burns and tans minimally) to III (shows mild burn but tans uniformly) ingested GS 250 mg once daily for 8 weeks.
At week 8, a significant increase from baseline was observed in the level of mRNA expression for the following biomarkers: vimentin, fibromodulin, biglycan, xylosyl transferase, hyaluronan synthase, collagen type I and III, the bone morphogenic protein-1 (BMP1), and decorin (p≤0.05 for all).
“The increase was the most important for collagen types I and III [which are very important for skin tension, elasticity and healing], BMP1 [which is involved in the molecular network regulating homeostasis in the skin] and decorin,” the authors noted.
“Conversely, we could not demonstrate in vivo the impact of GS on the mRNA of a certain number of other markers involved in skin repair and wound healing as well as in limiting inflammation, such as the phospholipid-binding proteins, keratin-10, glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde phosphodehydrogenase, lumican and actin,” they added.
Given the negative study outcomes, which the authors said might be related to study conditions, further investigations are needed to confirm or contradict the data presented in the current study.