Obesity resistance of the stearoyl-CoA desaturase-deficient (scd1-/-) mouse results from disruption of the epidermal lipid barrier and adaptive thermoregulation

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  • Erika Binczek
  • Britta Jenke
  • Barbara Holz
  • Robert Heinz Günter
  • Mario Thevis
  • Wilhelm Stoffel

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Targeted deletion of the stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 gene (scd1) in mouse causes obesity resistance and a severe skin phenotype. Here, we demonstrate that SCD1 deficiency disrupts the epidermal lipid barrier and leads to uncontrolled transepidermal water loss, breakdown of adaptive thermoregulation and cold resistance, as well as a metabolic wasting syndrome. The loss of omega-hydroxylated very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA) and ceramides substituted with omega-hydroxylated VLCFA covalently linked to corneocyte surface proteins leads to the disruption of the epidermal lipid barrier in scd1-/- mutants. Artificial occlusion of the skin by topical lipid application largely reconstituted the epidermal barrier and also reversed dysregulation of thermogenesis and cold resistance, as well as the metabolic disturbances. Interestingly, SCD1 deficiency abolished expression of the key transcription factor Lef1, which is essential for interfollicular epidermis, sebaceous glands, and hair follicle development. Finally, the occurrence of SCD1 and a newly described hSCD5 (ACOD4) gene in humans suggests that the scd1-/- mouse mutant might be a valuable animal model for the study of human skin diseases associated with epidermal barrier defects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological chemistry
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)405-418
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2007

ID: 133189


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