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A fundamental investigation into aspects of the physiology and biochemistry of the stratum corneum in subjects with sensitive skin

Raj, N; Voegeli, R; Rawlings, AV; Doppler, S; Imfeld, D; Munday, MR; Lane, ME; (2016) A fundamental investigation into aspects of the physiology and biochemistry of the stratum corneum in subjects with sensitive skin. International Journal of Cosmetic Science 10.1111/ics.12334. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Sensitive skin is a poorly understood skin condition. Defects in stratum corneum (SC) barrier function and/or extrasensory neuronal networks in the epidermis are believed to be involved in the problem. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to unravel the relationships between bleomycin hydrolase (BH) and calpain-1 (C-1), pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA) levels, corneocyte maturation, transglutaminase (TG) and plasmin activities on the cheeks of subjects with sensitive skin. METHODS: Forty-eight female Caucasian subjects, Fitzpatrick skin phototypes II-III, with self - perceived sensitive facial skin were assessed and underwent a capsaicin reactivity test. Expert grading of skin condition was conducted as well as measurement of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin capacitance, SC cohesion and SC integrity. BH, C-1 and plasmin activities were measured as well as PCA levels, plasmin and TG activity. Differential Nile red and involucrin immunostaining was performed to assess corneocyte maturation and size. RESULTS: 52% of the subjects reacted to capsaicin. There were no significant differences between the capsaicin-sensitive and non-capsaicin-sensitive subjects with reference to skin grading, TEWL, skin capacitance and SC cohesion. PCA levels and BH activity were lowest in the capsaicin-sensitive panel (p<0.05) and were correlated in non-capsaicin-sensitive subjects (r = 0.72). The activity of TG was significantly lower (48%) in the capsaicin-sensitive subjects (p<0.001) and their corneocytes were less mature and smaller (p ≤ 0.03). SC was estimated to be thinner (6.87 ± 0.28 vs. 8.68 ± 0.26 μm; p=0.001) in the capsaicin-sensitive subjects with a corresponding shorter SC path length (83.2± 4.4 μm and. 113.1 ± 4.5 μm; p=0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Despite the physiological similarities between the two groups of sensitive skin subjects, differences in their biochemistry were clearly evident. Lower levels of PCA, BH and TG activities together with a greater number of smaller and immature corneocytes indicate inferior SC maturation in the capsaicin-sensitive subjects. The reduced maturation of corneocytes and thinner SC likely contributes to a greater penetration of capsaicin and the associated increased skin sensitivity.

Type: Article
Title: A fundamental investigation into aspects of the physiology and biochemistry of the stratum corneum in subjects with sensitive skin
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ics.12334
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ics.12334
Language: English
Additional information: This is the pre-peer reviewed (submitted) version of the following article:Raj, N; Voegeli, R; Rawlings, AV; Doppler, S; Imfeld, D; Munday, MR; Lane, ME; (2016) A fundamental investigation into aspects of the physiology and biochemistry of the stratum corneum in subjects with sensitive skin. International Journal of Cosmetic Science 10.1111/ics.12334, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ics.12334. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: Biomarkers; protease activity; sensitive skin/inflammation/allergy; skin physiology/structure
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharmaceutics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > SoP Pharmaceutical and Bio Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493108
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