Skin barrier disruption by acetone: observations in a hairless mouse skin model

R. Rissmann, M.H.M. Oudshoorn, W.E. Hennink, M. Ponec, J.A. Bouwstra

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To disrupt the barrier function of the skin, different in vivo methods have been established, e.g., by acetone wiping or tape-stripping. In this study, the acetone-induced barrier disruption of hairless mice was investigated in order to establish a reliable model to study beneficial, long-term effects on barrier recovery after topical application. For both treatments (i.e., acetone treatment and tape-stripping) the transepidermal water loss directly after disruption and the subsequent barrier recovery profile were similar. Histological assessment showed significant lower number of corneocyte layers in acetone-treated and tape-stripped skin compared to untreated skin, while there was no statistical difference between the two treatments. Lipid analysis of acetone-treated skin revealed that only small fraction of lipids were extracted consisting of predominantly nonpolar lipids. Importantly, the ratio of the barrier lipids, i.e., cholesterol, free fatty acids and ceramides, remained similar between control and acetone-treated skin. This reflects the undisrupted lipid organization, as determined by small-angle X-ray diffraction measurements: the long-periodicity lamellar phase was still present after acetone treatment. Our results contradict earlier studies which reported no mechanical stratum corneum removal, a substantial extraction of lipids and disruption in lipid organization. In conclusion, our studies demonstrate that barrier disruption due to acetone treatment is mainly due to removal of corneocytes.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)609-613
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Farmacie/Biofarmaceutische wetenschappen (FARM)
  • Medical technology
  • Farmacie(FARM)
  • Biomedische technologie en medicijnen
  • Pharmacology

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