The incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) has been increasing rapidly, and the disease has become a serious sociomedical problem. Many skin problems, such as xerosis, pruritus, skin infections and delayed wound healing, that might be related to chronic impairment of skin barrier function decrease the quality of life in patients with DM. However, the status of the permeability and antimicrobial barrier of the skin in DM remains unknown. This study aimed to elucidate skin barrier impairment in patients with type 2 DM and its pathomechanisms using classic animal models of type 2 DM. Functional studies of the skin barrier and an analysis of stratum corneum (SC) lipids were compared between patients with type 2 DM and age- and sex-matched non-diabetes controls. Also, functional studies on the skin barrier, epidermal lipid analyses, and electron microscopy and biomolecular studies were performed using type 2 DM animal models, db/db and ob/ob mice. Patients with type 2 DM presented with epidermal barrier impairments, including SC hydration, which was influenced by blood glucose control (HbA1c level). In the lipid analysis of SC, ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol were significantly decreased in patients with type 2 DM compared with controls. Type 2 DM murine models presented with severe hyperglycaemia, impairment of skin barrier homeostasis, decreases in epidermal proliferation and epidermal lipid synthesis, decreases in lamellar body (LB) and epidermal antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), an increase in receptors for advanced glycation end-product (AGE) in the epidermis and an increase in serum AGE. Impairment of the skin barrier was observed in type 2 DM, which results in part from a decrease in epidermal proliferation. Serum AGE and its epidermal receptors were increased in type 2 diabetic mice which display impaired skin barrier parameters such as epidermal lipid synthesis, LB production, epidermal AMP and SC lipids.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant No. HN10C 0033020013)
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology