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Lipid mixtures prepared with well-defined synthetic ceramides closely mimic the unique stratum corneum lipid phase behavior.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of lipid research
Publication Date
Volume
46
Issue
12
Pages
2649–2656
Identifiers
PMID: 16150830
Source
Medline

Abstract

Lipid lamellae present in the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, form the main barrier for the diffusion of molecules through the skin. The presence of a unique 13 nm lamellar phase and its high crystallinity are characteristic for the stratum corneum lipid phase behavior. In the present study, small-angle and wide-angle X-ray diffraction were used to examine the organization in lipid mixtures prepared with a unique set of well-defined synthetic ceramides, varying from each other in head group architecture and acyl chain length. The results show that equimolar mixtures of cholesterol, free fatty acids, and synthetic ceramides (resembling the composition of pig ceramides) closely resemble the lamellar and lateral stratum corneum lipid organization, both at room and higher temperatures. Exclusion of several ceramide classes from the mixture does not affect the lipid organization. However, complete substitution of ceramide 1 (acylceramide with a sphingosine base) with ceramide 9 (acylceramide with a phytosphingosine base) reduces the formation of the long periodicity lamellar phase. This indicates that the head group architecture of acylceramides affects the lipid organization. In conclusion, lipid mixtures prepared with well-defined synthetic ceramides offer an attractive tool with which to unravel the importance of the molecular structure of individual ceramides for proper lipid organization.

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