Distribution of Bioactive Lipid Mediators in Human Skin

Alexandra Kendall, Suzanne Pilkington, K.A. Massey, G. Sassano, Lesley Rhodes, Anna Nicolaou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The skin produces bioactive lipids that participate in physiological and pathological states, including homeostasis, induction, propagation, and resolution of inflammation. However, comprehension of the cutaneous lipid complement, and contribution to differing roles of the epidermal and dermal compartments, remains incomplete. We assessed the profiles of eicosanoids, endocannabinoids, N-acyl ethanolamides, and sphingolipids, in human dermis, epidermis, and suction blister fluid. We identified 18 prostanoids, 12 hydroxy-fatty acids, 9 endocannabinoids and N-acyl ethanolamides, and 21 non-hydroxylated ceramides and sphingoid bases, several demonstrating significantly different expression in the tissues assayed. The array of dermal and epidermal fatty acids was reflected in the lipid mediators produced, whereas similarities between lipid profiles in blister fluid and epidermis indicated a primarily epidermal origin of suction blister fluid. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids ex vivo showed that their action is mediated through perturbation of existing species and formation of other anti-inflammatory lipids. These findings demonstrate the diversity of lipid mediators involved in maintaining tissue homeostasis in resting skin and hint at their contribution to signaling, cross-support, and functions of different skin compartments. Profiling lipid mediators in biopsies and suction blister fluid can support studies investigating cutaneous inflammatory responses, dietary manipulation, and skin diseases lacking biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1520
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Distribution of Bioactive Lipid Mediators in Human Skin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this