Previously, we demonstrated that topical applications of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and liver X receptor (LXR) activators improve permeability barrier homeostasis. We showed further that stimulation of epidermal differentiation provides one mechanism that could account for such improvement. Here, we studied the effects of these agents on the lipid matrix of the stratum corneum. Hairless mice were treated topically with activators of PPARα (WY14643), PPARδ (GW1514), PPARγ (ciglitazone), and LXR (22(R)-cholesterol or TO901317) or vehicle twice daily for 3 days. All activators significantly increased epidermal cholesterol, fatty acid, and sphingolipid synthesis, including the production of barrier-specific ceramide species. In addition, lamellar body (LB) formation, secretion, and post-secretory processing accelerated significantly following acute barrier disruption in PPAR/LXR-activator-treated animals. Finally, the activity of epidermal β-glucocerebrosidase, a key lipid-processing enzyme, increased in PPAR/LXR-activator-treated animals. Thus, topical PPAR and LXR activators stimulate epidermal lipid synthesis, increase LB secretion, and accelerate extracellular lipid processing, providing additional mechanisms that further account for their ability to improve epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis. Since the liposensors are activated by endogenous lipid metabolites, they may serve as unique regulators of barrier homeostasis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by National Institutes of Health grants HD 029706, AR 050629, AR 049932 and PO39448 and the Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology