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J Comp Pathol. 2008 May;138(4):197-203. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2008.01.006. Epub 2008 Apr 2.

Effects of a topically applied preparation of epidermal lipids on the stratum corneum barrier of atopic dogs.

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Université Lyon 1, EA4169, Laboratory for Dermatological Research, Pavillon R, Edouard Herriot Hospital, F-69437 Lyon Cedex 03.


Canine atopic dermatitis (AD) is characterized ultrastructurally by disorganization of the lamellar lipids (LLs) in the stratum corneum (SC), similar to that seen in the human disease. This study, based on the examination of biopsy samples, was designed to investigate the expression of canine epidermal lipids and to evaluate quantitatively, by means of electron microscopy and ruthenium tetroxide post-fixation, the effect of a new topical skin lipid complex (SLC) on the structural deficit in the skin of five dogs with AD. The non-lesional skin of atopic dogs differed from the skin of healthy dogs in that the LLs were reduced in number and highly disorganized. After repeated applications of SLC to the non-lesional skin of dogs with AD, numerous LLs were observed in the deepest part of the SC, occupying 74% of the inter-corneocyte space, while they accounted for only 31.8% of the inter-corneocyte space in comparable biopsy samples from untreated (control) skin of the same dogs. In contrast, the LLs filled 89.5% of the deepest inter-corneocyte spaces in the SC of healthy dogs. Many keratinosomes were observed at the interface between living epidermis and SC after treatment of non-lesional AD skin. Stacks of short LL discs represented 57.6% of the total LLs found in the newly formed SC compactum in the treated atopic dogs. It is suggested that the treatment with SLC stimulated the production and secretion of endogenous SC lipids, contributing to the formation of an improved epidermal barrier.

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