Metabolism of Vitamin D in Skin: Benefits for Skin Care Applications

Oct 1, 2009 | Contact Author | By: Françoise Arnold MMP Sarl; Michel Mercier and My Trinh Luu, MMP Inc.
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Title: Metabolism of Vitamin D in Skin: Benefits for Skin Care Applications
7-dehydrocholesterolx vitamin D receptorx barrier functionx cathelicidinx skin protectionx
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Keywords: 7-dehydrocholesterol | vitamin D receptor | barrier function | cathelicidin | skin protection

Abstract: The skin innately possesses metabolic pathways and receptors to protect against external assaults. Here, one protective component, 7-dehydrocholesterol or provitamin D, naturally present in the skin, is described, which serves as the precursor for active metabolites that influence the formation and maintenance of barrier function, the activation of antimicrobial peptides, photoprotective activities, and protection against senescence.

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Although known since 1922, vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol was identified only as recently as the late 1960s as the precursor of the active steroid 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 or calcitriol, and this active steroid was known for its involvement in the metabolism of calcium—i.e., for its effects on bone mineralization. For this reason, children were administered fish oils, which are highly concentrated in vitamin D3. Food supplementation with vitamin D is common today and benefits the entire population.

Initially, the metabolism of vitamin D3 to calcitriol was thought to occur only in the liver and kidneys. However, the vitamin D receptor (VDR) for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 was more recently discovered in more than 30 tissues or organs including the skin, thus initiating new studies and reports on the activities of vitamin D metabolites and their regulation of important cellular skin functions.

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Figure 1. UV spectrum of 7-dehydrocholesterol

 Figure 1. UV spectrum of 7-dehydrocholesterol

Figure 2. Chemical structures

 Figure 2. Chemical structures

Formula 1. Protective moisturizing cream

 Formula 1. Protective moisturizing cream

Formula 2. After-sun repair

 Formula 2. After-sun repair

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