Topical treatments with acylceramide dispersions restored stratum corneum lipid lamellar structures in a reconstructed human epidermis model

Akina Nakaune-Iijima, Akinori Sugishima, Gen Omura, Hiroyuki Kitaoka, Tomoko Tashiro, Shigeki Kageyama, Ichiro Hatta

Long-periodicity phase (LPP) lamellar structures in intercellular lipid matrixes of the stratum corneum (SC) are considered important for maintenance of skin permeability barriers. Acylceramides are essential components of LPP structures, and their absence influences skin barriers under physiological and pathological conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and dry skin. Although topical applications of acylceramide have been shown to facilitate maintenance of the skin barrier, it is unknown whether topically applied acylceramides are incorporated into intercellular lipids to form LPP structures. Thus, we assessed the effects of topical treatments with monomodal acylceramides on the formation of LPP structures in a surfactant-insulted reconstructed human epidermis model using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses. In SAXS experiments, LPP structures give rise to a diffraction peak which indicates the presence of a structure with a 13 nm real space repeat distance. LPP patterns of intercellular lipid matrixes in the SC were disrupted by surfactant treatments and were recovered by topical acylceramide treatments. TEM images also showed specific repeating patterns of LPP structures, indicating that topical acylceramide treatments facilitate recovery of LPP structures in the SC. The present data show that the application of acylceramides might temporarily modify the lipid structure to resemble that of normal skin although the underlying cause of dry or diseased skin is not fully clarified.


EpiDerm (EPI-200-X), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), ultrastructure, Long-periodicity phase (LPP) lamellar structures, repeat distance, intercellular lipid matrices, stratum corneum, acylceramides, cholesterol, 1,3-butylene glycol, lecithin, linoleic acid, stearyl acid, SDS, ester-linked omega–-hydroxyl fatty acids, skin barrier repair

Materials Tested

acylceramides, cholesterol, 1,3-butylene glycol, lecithin, linoleic acid, stearyl acid, SDS, ester-linked omega–hydroxyl fatty acids

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