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An overview of epidermal lamellar bodies: Novel roles in biological adaptations and secondary barriers.

 Gopinathan K. Menon  ;  Sang Eun Lee  ;  Seung-Hun Lee 
 Journal of Dermatological Science, Vol.92(1) : 10-17, 2018 
Journal Title
 Journal of Dermatological Science 
Issue Date
Adaptations ; Lamellar bodies ; Skin barrier ; Ultrastructural polymorphism
The epidermal lamellar bodies (LBs) are specialized organelles that contain pro-barrier lipids imparting a fully lamellar internal structure, but also other cargoes such as enzymes (lipid metabolizing and proteolytic), enzyme inhibitors, and antimicrobial peptides. Thus, the LB secretory system, by virtue of delivering these cargoes to the stratum corneum (SC) interstices, is essential for forming the various skin barriers located in the SC. Ultrastructural studies have suggested that the morphologic features of LBs reflect the functional status of the SC. Several ichthyotic skin diseases as well as experimental animal models with defective epidermal lipogenesis show only partial lamellar contents or even empty appearing LB, reflecting an abnormal cargo composition. We suggest that LB polymorphism reflects a wide array of barrier adaptations to environmental challenges, rather than just a defective barrier function, based on observations on a) LB morphology in inherited skin disorders of lipid metabolism (Refsum disease, Chanarin-Dorfman syndrome) characterized by deficiency of lamellar lipids and accumulation of toxic metabolites; b) Psoriasis (with a high expression of Psoriasin antimicrobial peptide within lesions) and c) the Pitohui, a toxic bird where diet-derived toxin is eliminated via the LB secretory system that creates a chemical defense system. Morphological features of LBs from these models suggest a hitherto unrecognized function for the LBs in elimination of toxic substances from the body. We also provide preliminary evidence that indicate yet another function for the LBs- as a type of recycling endosomes allowing for uptake of certain topically applied materials by the epidermis.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Dermatology (피부과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Lee, Sang Eun(이상은) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4720-9955
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