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Biol Pharm Bull. 2011;34(9):1383-9.

Effects of serine palmitoyltransferase inhibitor ISP-I on the stratum corneum of intact mouse skin.

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  • 1POLA Chemical Industries, Inc., Yokohama, Japan.


Serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) is involved in the ceramide synthesis pathway. We investigated the effects of ISP-I, a potent inhibitor of SPT, on the stratum corneum (SC) of hairless mouse skin. Application of ISP-I for one week resulted in a significant decrease in the amount of ceramide, which was associated with a decrease in SC hydration. However, there was an increase in the number of SC layers and less transepidermal water loss than control. Transmission Electron Microscopy observation revealed that the number of desmosome-like structures in the layers immediately above the stratum granulosum (SG) was significantly increased in ISP-I-treated skin compared to vehicle-treated skin. The activity of serine protease-an enzyme associated with the process of desquamation-was lower in the SC of ISP-I-treated skin than control. Furthermore, immunoelectronmicroscopy revealed that glucosylceramide and corneodesmosin tended to remain in corneocytes and were not secreted into the intercellular spaces of the SC in the ISP-I-treated skin. These results indicate that the application of ISP-I decreases ceramide and skin hydration, while at the same time increases the number of SC layers. The accumulation of corneocyte layers may originate from an aberrant desquamation process related to the decrease in the serine protease activity as well as an alteration in the transport of desquamation-related proteases by lamellar bodies.

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