Funding source The Danish Medical Research Council.
Ethnicity and stratum corneum ceramides
Article first published online: 18 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Authors. BJD © 2010 British Association of Dermatologists
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 163, Issue 6, pages 1169–1173, December 2010
How to Cite
Jungersted, J.M., Høgh, J.K., Hellgren, L.I., Jemec, G.B.E. and Agner, T. (2010), Ethnicity and stratum corneum ceramides. British Journal of Dermatology, 163: 1169–1173. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.10080.x
Conflicts of interest None declared.
- Issue published online: 18 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 18 NOV 2010
- Accepted manuscript online: 7 OCT 2010 02:52PM EST
- Accepted for publication 25 August 2010
- atopic eczema;
Background The barrier function of the skin is dependent on an optimal composition of the stratum corneum lipids, exemplified by the altered lipid profile in patients with atopic eczema (AE). Differences in the global prevalence of AE point to the environment as an important factor in AE. Studies on filaggrin point to a genetic aspect in AE. The influence of environment and genes needs to be explored.
Objectives To investigate possible differences in stratum corneum lipids between different healthy ethnicities living in the same environment.
Methods Healthy participants without any major skin diseases were enrolled in the study. Twenty-five participants of Asian origin (Asians), 18 of African origin (Africans) and 28 of Danish origin (white-skinned), all students at universities in the Copenhagen area of Denmark, had the ceramide profile of their stratum corneum examined using the cyanoacrylate method and analysed using high-performance thin layer chromatography.
Results For the ceramide/cholesterol ratio we found statistically significant differences between groups, with Asians having the highest ratio (P < 0·001 as compared with both white-skinned individuals and Africans), white-skinned individuals having intermediate values, and Africans having the lowest values. No statistically significant differences were found between any of the ceramide subgroups.
Conclusions We found different ceramide/cholesterol ratios in comparable groups of different ethnicity, pointing to unknown genetic differences.