Cutaneous Vitamins A and E in the Context of Ultraviolet- or Chemically-Induced Oxidative StressSorg O. · Tran C. · Saurat J.-H.
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland
Vitamins A and E are present in mammalian skin. Although the main circulating form of vitamin A in the blood is retinol, the epidermis stores it as retinyl esters. The epidermis can be easily loaded with high amounts of vitamin A by topical application of either retinol or retinaldehyde, two well-tolerated precursors of the biologically active retinoic acid, while topical α-tocopherol loads the epidermis with vitamin E. The probable physiological function of epidermal vitamin E is to contribute to the antioxidant defense of the skin, whereas that of epidermal vitamin A (retinol and retinyl esters) is not yet well understood. Besides being a precursor for retinoic acid, vitamin A also has a free radical scavenging potential. Due to their physical properties, vitamins A and E absorb ultraviolet (UV) light in the region of solar spectrum that is responsible for most of the deleterious biological effects of the sun. In the mouse, topical vitamin A has been shown to prevent the UV-induced epidermal hypovitaminosis A, while topical vitamin E prevents oxidative stress and cutaneous and systemic immunosuppression elicited by UV. Thus constitutive epidermal vitamins A and E appear complementary in preventing UV-induced deleterious cutaneous and systemic effects, and these properties can be reinforced by topical application of retinol or retinaldehyde and topical α-tocopherol.
Olivier Sorg, PhD
Clinique de Dermatologie, Hôpital Cantonal Universitaire
24, rue Micheli-du-Crest, CH–1211 Genève 14 (Switzerland)
Tel. +41 22 372 9691, Fax +41 22 372 9693
Number of Print Pages : 10
Number of Figures : 6, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 44
Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology (Journal of Pharmacological and Biophysical Research)
Incorporating ‘Bioengineering and the Skin’; Founded in 1988 by H. Schaefer
Official Journal of the Skin Pharmacology Society (SPS)
Vol. 14, No. 6, Year 2001 (Cover Date: November-December 2001)
Journal Editor: Hans F. Merk, Aachen
ISSN: 1422–2868 (print), 1422–2906 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/sph