2002 年 66 巻 1 号 p. 117-126
Protein malnutrition affects the status of dermal collagen, the major structural protein in the skin. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the alteration of collagen fibers in the skin by protein deficiency remains unknown. In the present study, the effect of dietary protein deprivation on collagen metabolism was studied by analyzing the status of the synthesis and degradation of collagen in the dorsal skin of rats. Feeding on a protein-free diet for 8 days caused a dramatic decrease in both types I and III tropocollagen with a concomitant decrease in their mRNA levels, with type III collagen being more severely affected. The active form of collagenase was significantly decreased by protein deprivation, whereas the latent form was not affected. The mRNA levels of collagenase and its inhibitors (TIMP-1 and 2) were also decreased by protein deprivation. These results suggest that both the synthesis and degradation of types I and III collagen were affected by protein deficiency.