1995 Arch Dermatol Res 1995 ;287 (8):723-30
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Leiden, The Netherlands.

Triglyceride metabolism in human keratinocytes cultured at the air-liquid interface

Although epidermis reconstructed in vitro histologically demonstrates the presence of fully differentiated tissue with cornified strata, it does not synthesize or release epidermal barrier lipids in the same proportions as does native skin, causing the barrier function to be impaired. Lipids, the content of which deviates the most, include triglycerides that are present in high amounts and stored as lipid droplets. Our recent studies have revealed that a high triglyceride content may be a reflection of a high synthetic rate and a low turnover. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to examine whether the triglyceride accumulation in the air-exposed cultures may be a result of insufficient supplementation of cells with oxygen, an excessive supplementation of cells with glucose, dysregulation of lipogenesis, or an impaired catabolism of triglycerides caused either by insufficient activity of triglyceride lipase and/or accumulation of free fatty acids due to insufficient activity of beta-oxidase. When keratinocytes were cultured at the air-liquid interface in medium containing a standard glucose concentration, both the lactate and triglyceride production was high. Lowering glucose content in the medium resulted in a decrease in both lactate production and triglyceride synthesis. However, even when grown at a low glucose concentration the triglyceride content remained higher than found in vivo and synthesized triglycerides were stored in the cells as a stable pool, suggesting that the catabolism of triglycerides was impaired. Since both lipase and beta-oxidase were found to be active in cultured keratinocytes, another factor or other factors are probably implicated in the regulation of triglyceride metabolism.