Compromising human skin in vivo and ex vivo to study skin barrier repair

T. Berkers, W. A. Boiten, S. Absalah, J. van Smeden, A. P.M. Lavrijsen, J. A. Bouwstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Ex vivo regenerated stratum corneum (SC)after tape-stripping can be used as a model to study the barrier function of compromised skin. Yet, details about how close the regenerated SC model mimics the lipid properties (e.g. lipid composition and lipid ordering)of the in vivo situation are not known. Here, we examined using a comprehensive ceramide analysis whether human ex vivo regenerated SC showed similar lipid properties as human in vivo regenerated SC. Both in vivo and ex vivo regenerated SC had an altered ceramide subclass composition, with increased percentages of sphingosine-based subclass and decreased percentages of phytosphingosine-based subclass ceramides, a reduced mean ceramide chain length, and a higher percentage of unsaturated ceramides. Overall, regenerated SC ex vivo showed more pronounced but similar changes compared to the in vivo response. One of the purposes of these models is to use them to mimic compromised skin of inflammatory skin diseases. The altered lipid properties in regenerated SC were comparable to those observed in several inflammatory skin diseases, which makes them a valuable model for the barrier properties in inflammatory skin diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1108
Number of pages6
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

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