Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 308, Issue 8, pp 563–574 | Cite as

A synthetic C16 omega-hydroxyphytoceramide improves skin barrier functions from diversely perturbed epidermal conditions

  • Myoung Jin Oh
  • Jin Ju Nam
  • Eun Ok Lee
  • Jin Wook Kim
  • Chang Seo ParkEmail author
Original Paper


Omega-hydroxyceramides (ω-OH-Cer) play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of skin barrier. ω-OH-Cer are the primary lipid constituents of the corneocyte lipid envelope (CLE) covalently attached to the outer surface of the cornified envelope linked to involucrin to become bound form lipids in stratum corneum (SC). CLE becomes a hydrophobic impermeable layer of matured corneocyte preventing loss of natural moisturizing factor inside the corneocytes. More importantly, CLE may also play an important role in the formation of proper orientation of intercellular lipid lamellar structure by interdigitating with the intercellular lipids in a comb-like fashion. Abnormal barrier conditions associated with atopic dermatitis but also UVB-irradiated skins are known to have lowered level of bound lipids, especially ω-OH-Cer, which indicate that ω-OH-Cer play an important role in maintaining the integrity of skin barrier. In this study, protective effects of a novel synthetic C16 omega-hydroxyphytoceramides (ω-OH-phytoceramide) on skin barrier function were investigated. Epidermal barrier disruption was induced by UVB irradiation, tape-stripping in hairless mouse and human skin. Protective effect of damaged epidermis was evaluated using the measurement of transepidermal water loss and cohesion of SC. Increased keratinocyte differentiation was verified using cultured keratinocyte through western blot. Results clearly demonstrated that a synthetic C16 ω-OH-phytoceramide enhanced the integrity of SC and accelerated the recovery of damaged skin barrier function by stimulating differentiation process. In a conclusion, a synthetic C16 ω-OH-phytoceramide treatment improved epidermal homeostasis in several disrupted conditions.


Omega-hydroxyceramide Skin barrier Keratinocyte differentiation UV 



This study was supported by the National Coordinating Center for Global Cosmetics R&D (NCR) (Grant number: HN10C0000).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed (approved from Dongguk University, IACUC-2015-053). All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards (approved from Dongguk University, DUIRB-20150824-006).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Myoung Jin Oh
    • 1
  • Jin Ju Nam
    • 1
  • Eun Ok Lee
    • 2
  • Jin Wook Kim
    • 2
  • Chang Seo Park
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringDongguk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.LCS BiotechSuwon-siRepublic of Korea

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