Fibulin-5 deposition in human skin: Decrease with ageing and ultraviolet B exposure and increase in solar elastosis

K. Kadoya, T. Sasaki, G. Kostka, R. Timpl, K. Matsuzaki, N. Kumagai, L. Y. Sakai, T. Nishiyama, Satoshi Amano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Background: Fibulin-5 was recently found as a secreted extracellular matrix protein that functions as a scaffold for elastic fibres. However, the distribution of fibulin-5 in human skin and its changes during the ageing process are not known. Objectives: To explore the involvement of fibulin-5 in skin ageing, the age-dependent changes in fibulin-5 localization in human skin were examined compared with those of other elastic fibre components including elastin, fibrillin-1 and fibulin-2. Methods: The distribution of elastin, fibrillin-1, fibrillin-2, fibulin-2 and fibulin-5 was investigated by means of immunohistochemistry using their specific antibodies. Skin samples were recovered from 12 healthy subjects undergoing plastic surgery. Ultraviolet (UV) B-irradiated or control nonirradiated buttock skin samples were obtained from two healthy volunteers at 2 days after the irradiation at 2 minimal erythemal doses. Results: In the reticular dermis of young sun-protected skin from the upper arm, fibulin-5 colocalized with the other elastic fibre components, while in the papillary dermis fibulin-5 showed candelabra-like structures perpendicular to the epidermis with an unstained area just beneath the epidermis, which was similar to that of elastin but not fibrillin-1. Fibulin-5 in the reticular dermis decreased and disappeared with age even in sun-protected skin from the thigh, abdomen and upper arm. In sun-exposed skin, fibulin-5 was extremely reduced in the dermis of cheek skin even from a 20-year-old man. UVB irradiation reduced fibulin-5, fibulin-2 and elastin markedly, moderately and weakly, respectively, compared with levels in control nontreated skin. Interestingly, the deposition of fibulin-5 was increased in solar elastosis, like that of other elastic fibre components. Conclusions: These results suggest that fibulin-5 is a good marker of skin ageing and that the earlier loss of fibulin-5 may involve age-dependent changes in other elastic fibre components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-612
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Elastic fibre
  • Elastin
  • Fibrillin
  • Fibulin-5
  • Solar elastosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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