Topically applied fatty acids are elongated before incorporation in the stratum corneum lipid matrix in compromised skin.

Experimental dermatology

PubMedID: 27305861

Berkers T, van Dijk L, Absalah S, van Smeden J, Bouwstra JA. Topically applied fatty acids are elongated before incorporation in the stratum corneum lipid matrix in compromised skin. Exp Dermatol. 2016;.
In several skin diseases both the lipid composition and organization in the stratum corneum (SC) are altered which contributes to the impaired skin barrier function in patients. One of the approaches for skin barrier repair is treatment with topical formulations to normalize SC lipid composition and organization. Vernix caseosa, a white cheesy cream on the skin during gestational delivery, has shown to enhance skin barrier repair. In the present study, we examined how a fatty acid containing formulation mimicking the lipid composition of vernix caseosa interacts with the lipid matrix in the SC. The formulation was applied on ex vivo human skin after SC removal. Subsequently, the ex vivo human skin generated SC during culture. The effect of fatty acid (FA) containing formulations on the lipid organization and composition in the regenerated SC was analyzed by Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy (LC/MS), respectively. FTIR results demonstrate that the FAs are intercalated in the lipid matrix of the regenerated SC and partition in the same lattice with the endogenous SC lipids, thereby enhancing the fraction of lipids forming an orthorhombic (very dense) packing in the SC. LC/MS data show that the topically applied FAs are elongated before intercalation in the lipid matrix and are thus involved in the lipid biosynthesis in the skin. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.