Enhancement of lipid content and inflammatory cytokine secretion in SZ95 sebocytes by palmitic acid suggests a potential link between free fatty acids and acne aggravation.Exp Dermatol. 2019 02; 28(2):207-210.ED
A relationship between acne and free fatty acids (FFAs) has been suggested recently. However, the effects of FFAs on sebaceous glands are still largely unknown. At the same time, the role of FFAs during chronic inflammation is well established. Considering that FFAs are also a major component of sebum, it is likely that changes in FFA affect both the synthesis of sebum and the inflammatory response in sebaceous glands. In this study, we examined a hypothesis that FFAs increase the production of sebum and induce inflammation in the sebaceous glands. We found that treatment of SZ95 sebocytes with exogenously applied palmitic acid (PA), a major saturated FFA, induced a significant increase in intracellular lipid levels. Moreover, PA treatment also increased the expression and secretion of the proinflammatory cytokines in SZ95 sebocytes. We also found that Toll-like receptors were required for the inflammatory response triggered by PA. The results of our study strengthen the notion about the link between acne and FFAs and suggest the mechanism underlying this relationship. Our results serve as a foundation for future work that will explore the association between FFA and acne and pave way to the development of novel treatment options for acne.