Epidermal Lipogenesis (Essential Fatty Acids and Lipid Inhibitors)

  • V. A. Ziboh
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 87 / 1)


The fact that skin is an active lipid-synthesising organ was first demonstrated by NICOLAIDES et al. (1955), who incubated human scalp skin with [14] acetate and found the incorporation of 14C into squalene, sterols and fatty acids. Further evidence to demonstrate the lipogenic activity of the skin was provided by the studies of PEtterson and GRiesemer (1959), who reported variations of lipogenic activity of the skin at various body sites. VRoman et al. (1969) incubated preputial skin from new-born and abdominal skin of adult humans in vitro with 14C acetate and showed the incorporation of 14C into all lipid classes of the skin. Of particular interest was the lack of 14C incorporation into arachidonic acid even though this fatty acid constituted approximately 9% of total skin fatty acids. A similar observation was made by WIlkinson (1970), who incubated trypsinised epidermal cells with [14]C acetate in culture medium and found negligible incorporation of 14C into 20:4,n6 acid, although smaller amounts of 14C were incorporated into other polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). It is unlikely from these studies that essential fatty acids (EFAs) are biosynthesised de novo by skin in sufficient quantity to sustain the normal functioning of the epidermis. Thus epidermal EFAs must be derived from an exogenous source such as dietary linoleate.


Arachidonic Acid Essential Fatty Acid Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency Chylous Ascites Trienoic Acid 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • V. A. Ziboh

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