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Essential function of linoleic acid esterified in acylglucosylceramide and acylceramide in maintaining the epidermal water permeability barrier. Evidence from feeding studies with oleate, linoleate, arachidonate, columbinate and a-linolenate

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Essential fatty acid-deficient rats were supplemented with 300 mg per day of pure fatty acid esters: oleate (O), linoleate (L), arachidonate (A), and columbinate (C) for 10 days. During this period, the rats in groups L, A, and C all showed a decrease in their initially high trans-epidermal water loss, a classical essential fatty acid-deficiency symptom, to a level seen in non-deficient rats (group N). The trans-epidermal water loss in rats of group O was unaffected by the supplementation. Fatty acid composition of two epidermal sphingolipids, acylglucosylceramide and acylceramide, from the skin were determined. The results indicate that re-establishment of a low trans-epidermal water loss was associated with incorporation of linolenate into the two epidermal sphingolipids. Supplementation with columbinate resulted in relatively high amounts of this fatty acid in the investigated epidermal sphingolipids. Analysis of pooled skin specimens from a previous study in which weanling rats were fed a fat-free diet and supplemented orally with pure a-linolenate for 13 weeks (Hansen, H.S. and Jensen, B. (1983) Lipids 18, 682-690) revealed very little polyunsaturated fatty acid in the two sphingolipids. These rats showed increased evaporation which was comparable to that of essential fatty acid-deficient rats. We interpret these results as strong evidence for a very specific and essential function of linoleic acid in maintaining the integrity of the epidermal water permeability barrier. This function of linoleate is independent of its role as precursor for arachidonate and icosanoids.
TidsskriftBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Lipids and Lipid Metabolism
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)357-363
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 1985

ID: 45563227