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Open AccessArticle

Contribution of Palmitic Acid to Epidermal Morphogenesis and Lipid Barrier Formation in Human Skin Equivalents

1
Department of Dermatology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands
2
Division of BioTherapeutics, LACDR, Leiden University, 2333 CC Leiden, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Joint senior authorship.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 6069; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20236069
Received: 17 November 2019 / Revised: 28 November 2019 / Accepted: 30 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Lipids and Lipidomics 2020)
The outermost barrier layer of the skin is the stratum corneum (SC), which consists of corneocytes embedded in a lipid matrix. Biosynthesis of barrier lipids occurs de novo in the epidermis or is performed with externally derived lipids. Hence, in vitro developed human skin equivalents (HSEs) are developed with culture medium that is supplemented with free fatty acids (FFAs). Nevertheless, the lipid barrier formation in HSEs remains altered compared to native human skin (NHS). The aim of this study is to decipher the role of medium supplemented saturated FFA palmitic acid (PA) on morphogenesis and lipid barrier formation in HSEs. Therefore, HSEs were developed with 100% (25 μM), 10%, or 1% PA. In HSEs supplemented with reduced PA level, the early differentiation was delayed and epidermal activation was increased. Nevertheless, a similar SC lipid composition in all HSEs was detected. Additionally, the lipid organization was comparable for lamellar and lateral organization, irrespective of PA concentration. As compared to NHS, the level of monounsaturated lipids was increased and the FFA to ceramide ratio was drastically reduced in HSEs. This study describes the crucial role of PA in epidermal morphogenesis and elucidates the role of PA in lipid barrier formation of HSEs. View Full-Text
Keywords: primary cell culture; artificial skin; bioengineering; palmitic acid; free fatty acid; ceramide; lipid metabolism; mass spectrometry primary cell culture; artificial skin; bioengineering; palmitic acid; free fatty acid; ceramide; lipid metabolism; mass spectrometry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mieremet, A.; Helder, R.; Nadaban, A.; Gooris, G.; Boiten, W.; El Ghalbzouri, A.; Bouwstra, J.A. Contribution of Palmitic Acid to Epidermal Morphogenesis and Lipid Barrier Formation in Human Skin Equivalents. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 6069.

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