Effect of the ω-acylceramides on the lipid organization of stratum corneum model membranes evaluated by X-ray diffraction and FTIR studies (Part I).Chem Phys Lipids. 2011 Mar; 164(3):184-95.CP
The lipid organization in the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, is important for the skin barrier function. The stratum corneum lipids are composed of ceramides (CER), free fatty acids (FFA) and cholesterol (CHOL). In the present study Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques were utilized to evaluate the effect of three C18 fatty acid esterified ω-acylceramides (CER EOS) on the lipid organization of stratum corneum model membranes. FTIR spectra (scissoring and rocking bands) showed as a function of temperature significant line-shape changes for both components assigned to the orthorhombic phase. Second-derivative analyzes revealed a significant decrease in the interchain coupling strength (Δν values) for the samples formed by CER EOS with the linoleate (CER EOS-L) and oleate (CER EOS-O) moiety around 28.5°C. However, only a gradual decrease in the Δν values was noticed for the mixture formed with CER EOS with the stearate moiety (CER EOS-S) over the whole temperature range. In the absence of CER EOS the decrease started already at 25.5°C, demonstrating that CER EOS stabilized the orthorhombic lattice. This stabilization was most pronounced for the CER EOS-S. Spectral fittings allowed to evaluate the orientation changes of the skeletal plane within the orthorhombic unit cell (θ values) for a given temperature range. From the best-fit parameters (peak area values), a decrease in the orthorhombic phase contribution to the scissoring band was also monitored as a function of the temperature. SAXS studies showed the coexistence of two lamellar phases with a periodicity of ∼5.5 nm (short periodicity phase, SPP) and ∼12 nm (LPP) in the presence of the CER EOS-L and CER EOS-O. However, no diffraction peaks associated to the LPP were detected for CER EOS-S. While CER EOS-S most efficiently stabilized the orthorhombic phase, CER EOS-L and CER EOS-O promoted the presence of the LPP. Therefore, the presence of all three CER EOS as observed in human stratum corneum may contribute to a proper skin barrier function.