Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Activators Protect Sebocytes From Apoptosis: A New Treatment Modality for Acne?

M Schuster, C C Zouboulis, F Ochsendorf, J Müller, D Thaçi, A Bernd, R Kaufmann, S Kippenberger

Br J Dermatol. 2011 Jan;164(1):182-6.

PMID: 21091942

Abstract:

Background:




The main function of the human sebaceous gland is sebum excretion. Increased sebum levels combined with follicular hyperkeratinization are a prerequisite of acne vulgaris. As peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are known to control lipid metabolism in several human tissues they have been considered to be involved in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris.













Objectives:




To investigate the effect of activators of PPAR-α (WY14643), PPAR-γ (rosiglitazone) and PPAR-δ (L-165.041) on basal and staurosporine-induced apoptosis in the human sebocyte cell line SZ95 in vitro.













Methods:




After defining the basal effects of PPAR activators on membrane integrity (lactate dehydrogenase release) and DNA synthesis (5-bromodeoxyuridine incorporation), apoptosis was determined by the release of histone-associated DNA fragments. The underlying signalling events were detected by Western blotting and the use of specific inhibitors against p44/42 and protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt.













Results:




PPAR activators of all three subsets offer antiapoptotic effects, with L-165.041 being the most potent. This compound induced the activation of PKB/Akt and p44/42, two kinases involved in antiapoptosis and proliferation, respectively. An inhibition of these kinases by specific inhibitors reversed the suppression of histone-associated DNA fragments by L-165.041, indicating that these signalling pathways participate in the observed antiapoptotic effect.













Conclusions:




The present data suggest that activators of PPAR, in particular of the δ subset, might have beneficial effects on acne vulgaris by inhibiting the release of lipids in the context of sebocyte apoptosis.

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