• Adiponectin;
  • Ceramide;
  • High-fat diet;
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α;
  • Serine palmitoyltransferase


Scope: Molecules involved in skin function are greatly affected by nutritional conditions. However, the mechanism linking high-fat (HF) diets with these alterations is not well understood. This study aimed to investigate the molecular changes in skin function that result from HF diets.

Methods and results: Sprague-Dawley rats were fed HF diets for 28 days. The skin levels of ceramide, lipids and mRNAs involved in lipid metabolism were evaluated using TLC, oil red O staining and quantitative PCR, respectively. The serum adiponectin concentration was determined by ELISA. HF diets led to reduced ceramide levels and lowered skin lipid content. They also decreased mRNA levels of serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase in the skin and those of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α -PPAR-α), which upregulates SPT and HMG-CoA reductase expression. The HF diets reduced the serum concentration of adiponectin, which acts upstream of PPAR-α. Finally, these diets led to increased mRNA levels of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1, the rate-limiting enzyme that acts in β-oxidation.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that HF diets reduce ceramide and lipid synthesis in the skin by reducing levels of SPT and HMG-CoA reductase through lowered adiponectin and PPAR-α activity. Additionally, they decrease lipid content by enhancing β-oxidation.