The Journal of clinical investigation

Pseudo-acylceramide with linoleic acid produces selective recovery of diminished cutaneous barrier function in essential fatty acid-deficient rats and has an inhibitory effect on epidermal hyperplasia.

PMID 8040295


Pseudo-acylceramides with different acyl properties were investigated for their capacity to restore diminished barrier function in essential fatty acid-deficient rats. Daily topical applications of synthetic pseudo-acylceramides containing ester-linked linoleic acid caused a dose-dependent, significant reduction of transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Both other pseudo-acylceramides with ester-linked oleic acid or saturated alkyl chains and ordinary ceramides exhibited a poor effect on recovery of TEWL. Furthermore, pseudoceramide containing ether-linked linoleic acid, which is biologically inactive in terms of degradation by hydrolytic enzymes, also induced a significant and similar increase in the barrier function. This restoration of barrier function by pseudo-acylceramides with linoleic acid was accompanied by suppressed DNA synthesis in the EFAD rat epidermis. In UVB-irradiated guinea pig skin, topical applications of the pseudo-acylceramides with linoleic acid immediately after the exposure significantly reduced epidermal hyperplasia, secondary to markedly diminished barrier disruption, whereas linoleic acid itself did not. A comparison of both the anti-hyperplasia and the barrier recovery effects in the series of pseudo-ceramide derivatives examined revealed that the suppressive effect on the induced epidermal hyperplasia was paralleled by the recovery of the barrier defect in EFAD rats. These findings directly suggest that acylceramide with an ester-linked linoleic acid has an essential role in the epidermal permeability barrier.