Particulate matter (PM) is dangerous, tiny stuff that is floating in the air and can cause health problems. These microscopic particles, too small to be seen with the human eye, are harmful if breathed and lead to skin aging. Now, scientists from Taiwan’s Hungkuang University and China Medical University may have discovered a mechanism to mitigate PM’s negative effects on human skin.
To prevent skin cells from aging due to particulate matter exposure, Chang and colleagues researched using two naturally occurring chemicals necessary for cellular energy production: nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and coenzyme Q10 (Q10). Evidence from the study Nicotinamide Mononucleotide and Coenzyme Q10 Protects Fibroblast Senescence Induced by Particulate Matter Preconditioned Mast Cells demonstrates that ROS and senescent cells are upregulated in human skin cells exposed to PM. Compared to Q10, NMN decreased both reactive oxygen species and senescent cells. The enzyme sirtuin 1, which is linked to a longer life span, is raised in response to NMN and Q10, as are inflammatory indicators, as demonstrated by researchers from Taiwan.
NMN Reduces Skin Aging Caused by Particulate Matter.
Chang and colleagues examined the effect of NMN and Q10 on PM-induced skin aging by exposing human skin cells to PM and then treating them with NMN or Q10. Researchers discovered that skin cells exposed to PM had elevated levels of ROS, molecules that can cause cell damage. NMN reduced ROS levels in skin cells exposed to PM, indicating that NMN reduces oxidative stress — the damage caused by ROS to cells.
Aging cells experience oxidative stress, inflammation, and DNA damage. Cellular stress can lead to senescence, a state in which cells no longer proliferate but increase inflammation, contributing to age-related illness. Chang and colleagues found that PM increased senescent skin cells. And by treating with either NMN or Q10 treatment of the skin cells resulting in a decrease in the percentage of senescent cells. In addition, PM-exposed skin cells showed reduced levels of the longevity-associated enzyme sirtuin 1 (SIRT1). These results imply that NMN and Q10 prevent inflammation and possible DNA damage in the skin caused by the particulate matter. In addition, NMN’s effects were far more pronounced than Q10’s.
Preventing Aging Caused by Particulate Matter.
Long-term exposure to PM has been linked in studies to an increased risk of mortality and all illnesses. Furthermore, age-related illnesses including olfactory (smell) loss, cognitive decline, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and lung cancer are linked to air pollution, which contains some of the most harmful amounts of PM.
Our cells require NMN as a building block in the biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), the substrate for the SIRT1 enzyme. In turn, SIRT1 protects against oxidative stress and DNA damage, preventing cellular senescence. NAD+, like coenzyme Q10, is a key mediator in cellular metabolism and mitochondrial function.
While there is substantial evidence that particulate matter accelerates the aging of the skin and other organs, nothing is known about how to defend against the PM. Given the results, the next question is whether topical treatment of NMN may protect human skin against aging, as non-topical injection of NMN has been demonstrated to do in animal models.