Deficiency of PPARβ/σ in the epidermis results in defective cutaneous permeability barrier homeostasis and increased inflammation

Mao Qiang Man, Grant D. Barish, Matthias Schmuth, Debra Crumrine, Yaacov Barak, Sandra Chang, Yan Jiang, Ronald M. Evans, Peter M. Elias, Kenneth R. Feingold*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


In cultured human keratinocytes or murine epidermis, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/σ (PPARβ/σ) (NR1C2) activators (1) stimulate keratinocyte differentiation; (2) decrease keratinocyte proliferation; (3) accelerate permeability barrier repair; (4) increase epidermal lipid synthesis; and (5) reduce cutaneous inflammation. Since these results suggest that PPARβ/σ could play an important role in cutaneous homeostasis, we assessed here the skin phenotype of mice deficient in PPARβ/σ. Gross cutaneous abnormalities were not evident, and both stratum corneum (SC) skin hydration and surface pH were normal. However, the epidermis was thickened and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) staining was increased, indicating increased cell proliferation. No change in apoptosis was observed but the expression of differentiation markers, such as filaggrin, involucrin, and loricrin, was slightly increased in PPARβ/σ -/- mice. Although basal permeability barrier function was normal, PPARβ/σ knockout (KO) mice show a significant delay in barrier recovery rates following acute barrier disruption by either acetone treatment or tape-stripping. Delayed barrier recovery correlated with decreased production and secretion of lamellar bodies (LBs), and with reduced numbers of extracellular lamellar membranes in the SC. Finally, PPARβ/σ KO mice displayed increased inflammation in response to 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13- acetate (TPA) treatment. Together, these results further demonstrate that PPARβ/σ in the epidermis: (1) is required for permeability barrier homeostasis; (2) regulates keratinocyte proliferation; and (3) modulates cutaneous inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-377
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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