, Volume 288, Issue 1, pp 31-38

Proliferation and differentiation of cultured human follicular keratinocytes are not influenced by biotin

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In humans and in animals, biotin deficiency causes pathological changes in the skin and its appendages. High doses of biotin may also have beneficial effects on skin, hair and fingernails in humans and animals with normal biotin status. Therefore, we investigated the effects of low and high concentrations of biotin on proliferation and differentiation of cultured outer root sheath cells from human hair follicles as an in vitro model for skin. The activities of biotin-dependent carboxylases were measured to evaluate the biotin status of the cells. In monolayer cultures of outer root sheath cells, proliferation and expression of the differentiation-specific keratins K1 and K10 were not influenced by extremely low concentrations of biotin (<2×10−10 mol/l) or by pharmacological doses of biotin (10−5 mol/l). Biotin deficiency of the cells was confirmed under the former condition by demonstrating decreased activities of the mitochondrial carboxylases. In organotypic cocultures of outer root sheath cells and dermal fibroblasts, in which stratified epithelia resembling epidermis were developed, the biotin concentration had no effect on the expression of all tested epidermal differentiation markers, including the suprabasal keratins K1 and K10, the hyperproliferation-associated keratin K16, involucrin and filaggrin.