Older bodies need longer to mend. Yet until now, researchers have not been able to tease out what age-related changes hinder the body's ability to repair itself.
Recent experiments explored this physiological puzzle by examining molecular changes in aging mouse skin. The results, delineate a new aspect of how the body heals wounds.
"Within days of an injury, skin cells migrate in and close the wound, a process that requires coordination with nearby immune cells. Our experiments have shown that, with aging, disruptions to communication between skin cells and their immune cells slow down this step," says Elaine Fuchs.
"This discovery suggests new approaches to developing treatments that could speed healing among older people," adds Fuchs.