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Exp Dermatol. 2005 Sep;14(9):684-91.

Changes in basal cell mitosis and transepidermal water loss in skin cultures treated with vitamins C and E.

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1
Unilever Corporate Research, Colworth, Sharnbrook, Bedford, UK. william.parish@unilever.com

Abstract

Three variants of the living skin equivalent cultures were compared in order to determine the most suitable to grow human differentiated epidermis to test beneficial properties of nutrients. Criteria of culture quality were mitotic index and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) assayed by means of a ServoMed Evaporimeter EP-2TM (ServoMed, Kinna, Sweden). Standards were donor skin mean mitotic index 11.1% and TEWL of living subjects mean 6.4 g/m(2)/h. Cultures (i) in 5% serum, 10 ng/ml of epidermal growth factor (EGF) at 37 degrees C and 95% relative humidity (RH); mitotic index on day 14, 19.2%, but on day 21, 1.8% and TEWL 9.5 g/m(2)/h on day 18. (ii) In 1% serum, no EGF, 33 degrees C and 95% RH, mitotic index on day 21, 9.1% and TEWL, 9.5% on day 18. (iii) Culture in same medium, 33 degrees C and 60% RH, mitotic index on day 28, 9.5% and TEWL 6.1 g/m(2)/h on day 18 as in vivo. Incubation in 60% RH was achieved using a novel chamber and dishes exposing only the corneum, sealing the medium. Vitamins C and E were used as model test nutrients. Culture conditions were 1% serum, no EGF at 33 degrees C and 95% RH. Vitamin C at 142 and 284 microM increased the mitotic index after 10- and 15-day treatment, but at 586 microM it was weakly toxic. Vitamin E at 20 and 40 microM did not. Both vitamins reduced TEWL providing functional data in support of previous reports on barrier properties. These are functional biomarkers of skin benefit relevant to skin in vivo.

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