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J Invest Dermatol. 1988 Mar;90(3):350-3.

Fatty acids of acylceramides from comedones and from the skin surface of acne patients and control subjects.

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Marshall Dermatology Research Laboratories, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242.


Comedonal lipids and skin surface lipids were collected from six acne patients and surface lipids were collected from sex- and age-matched controls without acne. Six series of ceramides were found in each sample, the relative amounts of which were determined by thin-layer chromatography/photodensitometry. Acylceramides (ceramide 1) were isolated by preparative thin-layer chromatography and their ester-linked fatty acids were analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography. The comedonal acylceramides contained higher proportions of 16:0, 16:1 delta 6, and 18:1 delta 6 + delta 8 and much less linoleate (18:2 delta 9,12) than the acylceramides from the skin surface. In the surface lipids from legs, acylceramides from the acne patients contained less linoleate than the acylceramides from control subjects. Free fatty acids from the comedones were also isolated and analyzed, and had a composition very similar to the esterified fatty acids of comedonal acylceramides. The results confirm that fatty acids derived from sebum become incorporated into comedonal acylceramides, displacing linoleate, and show that this process even affects the acylceramides of surface epidermis, more so in acne patients than in normal subjects.

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