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Arch Dermatol Res. 1998 Nov;290(11):634-7.

Loss of water from the stratum corneum induces epidermal DNA synthesis in hairless mice.

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Shiseido Research Center, Yokohama, Japan.


Many clinical studies have shown that low humidity has a deleterious effect on skin, but the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. To clarify the changes that occur in skin, we examined epidermal cell proliferation in mice kept in a dry (relative humidity < 10%) or a moist (relative humidity > 90%) environment. In animals exposed to low humidity, epidermal DNA synthesis started to increase within 12 h, reaching twice the original level, and the increased level was maintained for up to 5 days. The transepidermal water loss (TEWL) of mice kept for 12 h in the dry environment was the same as that of mice kept in the moist environment, but the skin conductance was lower. The increase in epidermal DNA synthesis following exposure to the dry environment was inhibited by topical application of petrolatum. It is concluded that loss of water from the stratum corneum induces epidermal cell proliferation within 12 h, and this change occurs in the absence of apparent cutaneous barrier dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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