Dietary constituents are able to play a beneficial role in canine epidermal barrier function


Adrian L. Watson
Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition
Freeby Lane
LE14 4RT
Tel.: +44 0 7966 920447
Fax: +44 0 1664 415440


Abstract:  Epidermal barrier function is a critical attribute of mammalian skin. The barrier is responsible for preventing skin-associated pathologies through controlling egress of water and preventing ingress of environmental agents. Maintaining the quality and integrity of the epidermal barrier is therefore of considerable importance. Structurally, the barrier is composed of two main parts, the corneocytes and the intercellular lamellar lipid. The epidermal lamellar lipid comprises mainly ceramides, sterols and fatty acids. Twenty-seven nutritional components were screened for their ability to upregulate epidermal lipid synthesis. Seven of the 27 nutritional components (pantothenate, choline, nicotinamide, histidine, proline, pyridoxine and inositol) were subsequently retested using an in vitro transepidermal diffusion experimental model, providing a functional assessment of barrier properties. Ultimately, the best performing five nutrients were fed to dogs at supplemented concentrations in a 12-week feeding study. Barrier function was measured using transepidermal water loss (TEWL). It was found that a combination of pantothenate, choline, nicotinamide, histidine and inositol, when fed at supplemented concentrations, was able to significantly reduce TEWL in dogs after 9 weeks.