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Keywords:

  • atopic dermatitis;
  • canine;
  • ceramide;
  • cutaneous barrier;
  • stratum corneum

Abstract:  Ceramides (CERs) in the stratum corneum (SC) are thought to play a key role in cutaneous barrier function. It has been reported that human SC contains 11 free CER classes and that their profiles are altered in humans with atopic dermatitis (AD). Although decreased proportions of free CERs or quantities of protein-bound CERs in the SC have been reported in dogs with AD, the overall profile of CERs in the canine SC has not been fully elucidated. The aim of this study was thus to investigate the profile of free CERs in the canine SC and to identify alterations in the CER profiles in dogs with AD. Normal-phase liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–mass spectrometry indicated 11 clusters of peaks for free CER classes, similar to those recognized in the human SC. The fractions of free SC CER in dogs with AD and in breed- and age-matched healthy dogs were quantitatively compared using high-performance thin-layer chromatography. CER[EOS], CER[EOP] and CER[NP], which are known to be decreased in the skin of humans with AD, were also decreased in the skin of dogs with AD. These findings highlight canine AD as a spontaneous animal model for investigating the disruption of CER-associated cutaneous barrier functions in the corresponding human disease.