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Disease relevance of Sebum

  • These data are consistent with the concept that increases in GH and IGF production contribute in complementary ways to the increase in sebum production during puberty and in acromegaly [1].
  • In 10 male patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis, treatment with isotretinoin for 6 weeks reduced the mean sebum excretion rate by 70% and improved the severity of the rash, but with a site difference in magnitude of response [2].
  • For a long time, the mantra of acne pathogenesis debates has been that acne vulgaris lesions develop when (supposedly largely androgen-mediated) increased sebum production, ductal hypercornification, and propionibacteria come together with local inflammatory process in the unlucky affected individual [3].
  • Most significantly, the regulated expression of ACh-R in sebaceous glands advocates a role for ACh in sebum production and as a promoter of sebocyte differentiation, thus offering an explanation for skin diseases associated with altered sebum production after chronic nicotine exposure [4].
  • We suggest that HIV-associated EF is an autoimmune disease with the sebocyte or some constituent of sebum acting as the autoantigen [5].

Psychiatry related information on Sebum


High impact information on Sebum

  • Lack of effect of topical retinoic acid on sebum excretion rate in acne [7].
  • Cimetidine, 1g orally per day, partially inhibited sebum excretion in patients with acne [8].
  • In situ hybridizations demonstrate a differentiation-specific expression pattern within the human sebaceous gland for the two AWAT genes, consistent with a significant role in the composition of sebum [9].
  • RESULTS: After adjustment for potential confounders, including sex, age, and smoking, statistically significant associations were shown in the total population between serum vitamin A and skin sebum content and surface pH and between the dietary intake of total fat, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and skin hydration [10].
  • In females, testosterone increased hair growth rate and sebum production [11].

Chemical compound and disease context of Sebum


Biological context of Sebum


Anatomical context of Sebum

  • MK-386, an inhibitor of 5alpha-reductase type 1, reduces dihydrotestosterone concentrations in serum and sebum without affecting dihydrotestosterone concentrations in semen [20].
  • Although the dioxin in the sebum was slightly decreased in phase V as compared with the control level, the total amount of excreted dioxin in feces and sebum was increased significantly in phase V, being 174% of the control level, which is almost the same level as that in the food [21].
  • The highest rate of excretion was observed in parkinsonian males, in agreement with the possible main role of androgens or testosterone in sebum excretion, while the phenomenon did not appear to be related to abnormalities of the autonomic nervous system [22].
  • The mechanism(s) for deposition of cocaine and codeine in sebum and stratum corneum appeared to be complex and could involve the transfer of drugs between different body fluids (i.e., sebum and sweat) and other matrices (i.e., skin and hair) [23].
  • Ketoconazole distributes readily into blood, urine, saliva, joint fluid, sebum, and cerumen; recent data indicate it may penetrate into cerebrospinal fluid as well [24].

Associations of Sebum with chemical compounds

  • Indeed, sebum production is under androgen control, and an abnormal response of the pilosebaceous unit to androgens appears to be implicated in the pathogenesis of acne [25].
  • Effects of sex steroid deprivation/administration on hair growth and skin sebum production in transsexual males and females [11].
  • 5alpha-Androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol glucuronide levels were only weakly associated with hair growth and sebum production [11].
  • This reduction persisted after discontinuation of isotretinoin therapy despite a return of sebum excretion to pretreatment levels [26].
  • Estimation of sebum production rates in man by measurement of the squalene content of skin biopsies [27].

Gene context of Sebum

  • Sebaceous gland cells of K10-/- mice showed an accelerated turnover and secreted more sebum including wax esters, triglycerides, and cholesterol esters [28].
  • Moreover, the rates of hair growth on the extremities or of sebum excretion on the forehead do not seem to be correlated either positively with plasma androgens or negatively with SHBG, though they each have been shown to be correlated with circulating 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone [29].
  • On the other hand, patients with rheumatoid arthritis had high levels of sebum excretion rate comparable to those found in patients with acne vulgaris [30].
  • Recent results indicate that keratinocytes and sebocytes, as major components of pilosebaceous unit, may act as immune cells and may be activated by P. acnes via toll-like receptors (TLRs) and CD14, and through CD1 molecules may recognize altered lipid content in sebum, followed by the production of inflammatory cytokines [31].
  • Pilo-sebaceous duct physiology. 2. The effect of keratin hydration on sebum excretion rate [32].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Sebum


  1. Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factors have different effects on sebaceous cell growth and differentiation. Deplewski, D., Rosenfield, R.L. Endocrinology (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. The permissive effect of sebum in seborrhoeic dermatitis: an explanation of the rash in neurological disorders. Cowley, N.C., Farr, P.M., Shuster, S. Br. J. Dermatol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  3. What is the pathogenesis of acne? Zouboulis, C.C., Eady, A., Philpott, M., Goldsmith, L.A., Orfanos, C., Cunliffe, W.C., Rosenfield, R. Exp. Dermatol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Novel aspects in cutaneous biology of acetylcholine synthesis and acetylcholine receptors. Kurzen, H., Schallreuter, K.U. Exp. Dermatol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  5. Itchy folliculitis and human immunodeficiency virus infection: clinicopathological and immunological features, pathogenesis and treatment. Fearfield, L.A., Rowe, A., Francis, N., Bunker, C.B., Staughton, R.C. Br. J. Dermatol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Oral supplementation with all-Rac- and RRR-alpha-tocopherol increases vitamin E levels in human sebum after a latency period of 14-21 days. Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage, S., Kraemer, K., Thiele, J.J. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. (2004) [Pubmed]
  7. Lack of effect of topical retinoic acid on sebum excretion rate in acne. Cunliffe, W.J., Macdonald-Hull, S. Lancet (1988) [Pubmed]
  8. Inhibition of sebum excretion by an H2 blocker. Lyons, F., Cook, J., Shuster, S. Lancet (1979) [Pubmed]
  9. Identification of two novel human acyl-CoA wax alcohol acyltransferases: members of the diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) gene superfamily. Turkish, A.R., Henneberry, A.L., Cromley, D., Padamsee, M., Oelkers, P., Bazzi, H., Christiano, A.M., Billheimer, J.T., Sturley, S.L. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  10. Human skin condition and its associations with nutrient concentrations in serum and diet. Boelsma, E., van de Vijver, L.P., Goldbohm, R.A., Klöpping-Ketelaars, I.A., Hendriks, H.F., Roza, L. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. (2003) [Pubmed]
  11. Effects of sex steroid deprivation/administration on hair growth and skin sebum production in transsexual males and females. Giltay, E.J., Gooren, L.J. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. Effect of 13-cis-retinoic acid on sebum production and Propionibacterium acnes in severe nodulocystic acne. Leyden, J.J., McGinley, K.J. Arch. Dermatol. Res. (1982) [Pubmed]
  13. Effect of ketoconazole 2% shampoo on scalp sebum level in patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis. Dobrev, H., Zissova, L. Acta Derm. Venereol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  14. Minoxidil and male-pattern alopecia: a potential role for a local regulator of sebum secretion with vasoconstrictive effects? Kurbel, S., Kurbel, B., Zanić-Matanić, D. Med. Hypotheses (1999) [Pubmed]
  15. Skin surface glycerol levels in acne vulgaris. Rebillo, T., Hawk, J.L. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1978) [Pubmed]
  16. Oxidative enzymes in the sebaceous glands of the domestic cat. Meyer, W., Neurand, K. Histochem. J. (1977) [Pubmed]
  17. Acne vulgaris: therapy directed at pathophysiologic defects. Ayres, S., Mihan, R. Cutis; cutaneous medicine for the practitioner. (1981) [Pubmed]
  18. Absence of minocycline in sebum? Aubin, F., Blanc, D., Guinchard, C., Agache, P. J. Dermatol. (1989) [Pubmed]
  19. Steroid inhibitors of androgen-potentiated actions on skin. Ebling, F.J., Randall, V.A. J. Steroid Biochem. (1983) [Pubmed]
  20. MK-386, an inhibitor of 5alpha-reductase type 1, reduces dihydrotestosterone concentrations in serum and sebum without affecting dihydrotestosterone concentrations in semen. Schwartz, J.I., Tanaka, W.K., Wang, D.Z., Ebel, D.L., Geissler, L.A., Dallob, A., Hafkin, B., Gertz, B.J. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1997) [Pubmed]
  21. Effect of chlorophyllin-chitosan on excretion of dioxins in a healthy man. Kitamura, K., Nagao, M., Hayatsu, H., Morita, M. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  22. Is seborrhea a sign of autonomic impairment in Parkinson's disease? Martignoni, E., Godi, L., Pacchetti, C., Berardesca, E., Vignoli, G.P., Albani, G., Mancini, F., Nappi, G. Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996) (1997) [Pubmed]
  23. Drug testing with alternative matrices I. Pharmacological effects and disposition of cocaine and codeine in plasma, sebum, and stratum corneum. Joseph, R.E., Oyler, J.M., Wstadik, A.T., Ohuoha, C., Cone, E.J. Journal of analytical toxicology. (1998) [Pubmed]
  24. Evaluation of ketoconazole. Sohn, C.A. Clinical pharmacy. (1982) [Pubmed]
  25. Effect of oral isotretinoin treatment on skin androgen receptor levels in male acneic patients. Boudou, P., Soliman, H., Chivot, M., Villette, J.M., Vexiau, P., Belanger, A., Fiet, J. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1995) [Pubmed]
  26. Qualitative and quantitative changes in cutaneous bacteria associated with systemic isotretinoin therapy for acne conglobata. Leyden, J.J., McGinley, K.J., Foglia, A.N. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  27. Estimation of sebum production rates in man by measurement of the squalene content of skin biopsies. Downing, D.T., Stewart, M.E., Strauss, J.S. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1981) [Pubmed]
  28. Loss of keratin 10 is accompanied by increased sebocyte proliferation and differentiation. Reichelt, J., Breiden, B., Sandhoff, K., Magin, T.M. Eur. J. Cell Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  29. Hair follicles and associated glands as androgen targets. Ebling, F.J. Clinics in endocrinology and metabolism. (1986) [Pubmed]
  30. Sebum production is increased in Behçet's syndrome and even more so in rheumatoid arthritis. Yazici, H., Mat, C., Deniz, S., Iscimen, A., Yurdakul, S., Tuzun, Y., Hekim, N., Yazici, Y. Clinical and experimental rheumatology. (1987) [Pubmed]
  31. The pathogenesis of acne. Knor, T. Acta dermatovenerologica Croatica : ADC / Hrvatsko dermatolosko drustvo. (2005) [Pubmed]
  32. Pilo-sebaceous duct physiology. 2. The effect of keratin hydration on sebum excretion rate. Cunliffe, W.J., Perera, W.D., Tan, S.G., Williams, M., Williams, S. Br. J. Dermatol. (1976) [Pubmed]
  33. Pharmacology of the allylamines. Birnbaum, J.E. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  34. Sebum-suppressing activity of the nonpolar arotinoid Ro 15-0778 in rodents. Boris, A., Hurley, J., Wong, C.Q., Comai, K., Shapiro, S. Arch. Dermatol. Res. (1988) [Pubmed]
  35. Lipoperoxides in sebum of substance users and controls. Tretjak, Z., Knight, J., Wilkins, J., Setoda, D., Voorhees, R. Ann. Clin. Lab. Sci. (1992) [Pubmed]
  36. Preliminary assessment of alginic acid as a factor buffering triethanolamine interacting with artificial skin sebum. Musiał, W., Kubis, A. European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V. (2003) [Pubmed]
  37. Seeing through the stratum corneum. Marks, R. The Keio journal of medicine. (2000) [Pubmed]
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