Project: Research project

Project Details


The current proposal represents a continuation of the candidate's
research on the regulation of epidermal differentiation, with
specific emphasis on the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The proposal sets forth the hypothesis that specific n3 fatty acids
found in fish oil can regulate and alter normal epidermal biology.
Since other fatty acids of the n6 polyunsaturated family and their
eicosanoid derivatives are known regulators of epidermal biology,
it is reasonable to propose that the n3 fatty acid family and their
unique metabolites may alter the normal progression of
keratinocyte differentation by substitution for n6 fatty acids in
membrane lipids, metabolic reactions, and structural components
of the keratinocyte. This hypothesis will be tested by enriching
cultured human neonatal keratinocytes with either
eicosapentaenoic (20:5n3) or docosahexaenoic (22:6n3) acids and
monitoring their proliferation and differentiation patterns, using
known morphologic and biochemical markers of keratinocyte
maturation. The pattern of incorporation of these fatty acids into
cellular lipids as well as their leukotriene and prostaglandin
metabolic products will be examined. Additionally, the
preferential sequestration of n3 fatty acids to specific
keratinocyte organelles will be determined. These studies should
not only clarify what effect fish oil derived n3 fatty acids, now
gaining popularity as dietary supplements, have on skin structure
and function, but should also help to elucidate the mechanism by
which these fatty acids alter epidermal biology. An RCDA would free the candidate from clinical, teaching, and
administrative responsibilities within the department, enhancing
the candidate's research in two ways. First, more uninterrupted
time would become available for reading, writing and long-term
experiments. Second, and more important, with large blocks of
time available, the candidate will be able to develop new
techniques necessary to establish herself as an independent
Effective start/end date7/1/886/30/93


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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