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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1993 Jul 25;1150(1):98-102.

Covalently bound lipids in keratinizing epithelia.

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Dows Institute for Dental Research, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


Covalently bound lipids have been identified and compared in keratinizing porcine epithelia including epidermis and oral epithelium from palate and gingiva. Stratum corneum was isolated by tryptic digestion, and after extensive extraction of lipids using a series of chloroform-methanol mixtures, the residual tissue was subjected to alkaline hydrolysis to release covalently bound lipids. The lipids so released were analyzed by quantitative thin-layer chromatography. Stratum corneum from each of the three anatomical sites contained omega-hydroxyceramides, omega-hydroxyacids and fatty acids. In epidermal stratum corneum the total covalently bound lipids represented 2.4% of the dry weight of the tissue, but in the oral epithelia this figure was consistently lower: 0.24% in palatal stratum corneum and 0.20% in gingival stratum corneum. Transmission electron microscopy before and after lipid extraction confirms the presence of a lipid envelope in epidermal stratum corneum and demonstrates the absence of this structure in oral stratum corneum.

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