Impact of the long chain omega-acylceramides on the stratum corneum lipid nanostructure. Part 1: Thermotropic phase behaviour of CER[EOS] and CER[EOP] studied using X-ray powder diffraction and FT-Raman spectroscopy.Chem Phys Lipids. 2010 Jan; 163(1):42-50.CP
The stratum corneum (SC), the outermost layer of the mammalian skin, is the main skin barrier. Ceramides (CERs) as the major constituent of the SC lipid matrix are of particular interest. At the moment, 11 classes of CERs are identified, but the effect of each single ceramide species is still not known. Therefore in this article, the thermotropic behaviour of the long chain omega-acylceramides CER[EOS] and CER[EOP] was studied using X-ray powder diffraction and FT-Raman spectroscopy. It was found that the omega-acylceramides CER[EOS] and CER[EOP] do not show a pronounced polymorphism which is observed for shorter chain ceramides as a significant feature. The phase behaviour of both ceramides is strongly influenced by the extremely long acyl-chain residue. The latter has a much stronger influence compared with the structure of the polar head group, which is discussed as extremely important for the appearance of a rich polymorphism. Despite the strong influence of the long chain, the additional OH-group of the phyto-sphingosine type CER[EOP] influences the lamellar repeat distance and the chain packing. The less polar sphingosine type CER[EOS] is stronger influenced by the long acyl-chain residue. Hydration is necessary for the formation of an extended hydrogen-bonding network between the polar head groups leading to the appearance of a long-periodicity phase (LPP). In contrast, the more polar CER[EOP] forms the LPP with densely packed alkyl chains already in the dry state.