Age and skin site related differences in steroid metabolism in male skin point to a key role of sebocytes in cutaneous hormone metabolism
Volume 4, Issue 1
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Pages 58 - 64http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/derm.19201
Authors: Markus Haag, Tina Hamann, Alexandra E. Kulle, Felix G. Riepe, Thomas Blatt, Horst Wenck, Paul-Martin Holterhus and Reto Ivo Peirano View affiliations
Hormone concentrations decline with aging. Up to now it was not clear, whether the decrease of hormone concentrations in blood samples are also present in cutaneous suction blister fluids, and whether skin from different anatomical sites shows different hormone concentrations.
Analysis of suction blister fluids and paired blood samples from young (mean 27.8 y) and old (mean 62.6 y) male subjects by UPLC-MS/MS showed that DHEA concentration in blood samples was age-dependently significantly reduced, but increased in suction blister fluids, while androstenedione behaved in an opposite manner to DHEA. Testosterone decreased age-dependently in blood samples and in suction blister fluids. Regarding skin sites, DHEA was lower in samples from upper back compared with samples from the forearm. In contrast, the concentrations of androstenedione and testosterone were higher in samples from upper back.
In vitro analyses showed that SZ95 sebocytes, but neither primary fibroblasts nor keratinocytes, were able to use DHEA as precursor for testosterone biosynthesis, which was confirmed by expression analysis of 3β-hydroxysteroiddehydrogenase in skin biopsies.
In conclusion, we show an inverse pattern of DHEA and androstenedione concentrations in blood vs. suction blister fluids, highlighting age-dependent changes of dermal testosterone biosynthesis, and a stronger metabolism in young skin. Furthermore, sebocytes play a central role in cutaneous androgen metabolism.
Received: November 21, 2011; Accepted: December 15, 2011