Project: Research project

Project Details


The Omega 3 (n3) fatty acids abundant in fish oil have recently
been identified as the components in the diet of fish eating
populations which account for their enhanced cardiovascular health.
Epidemiologic studies also point to a decreased incidence of skin
disease (psoriasis) in fish eating populations, but the agents
responsible and the mechanism involved in this alteration in the
incidence of skin diseases are not known. This 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 may alter the
normal progression of keratinocyte differentiation by substitution
for n6 fatty acids in membrane lipids, metabolic reactions, and
structural components of the keratinocyte. We plan to enrich cultured human neonatal keratinocytes with either
eicosapentaenoic (20:5n3) or docsahexaenoic (22:6n3) acids and
monitor their proliferation and differentiation patterns, using
known morphologic and biochemical markers of keratinocyte
maturation. We will examine the pattern of incorporation of these
fatty acids into cellular lipids as well as their metabolic
products. Additionally, we will determine whether the n3 fatty
acids are preferentially sequested into specific keratinocyte
organelles. 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.
Effective start/end date2/1/881/31/92


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


  • Medicine(all)


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