The effects of LXR agonist T0901317 and LXR antagonist GSK2033 on morphogenesis and lipid properties in full thickness skin models

Richard W J Helder, Walter A Boiten, Rianne van Dijk, Gerrit S Gooris, Abdoelwaheb El Ghalbzouri, Joke A Bouwstra

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Full thickness models (FTMs) are 3D-cultured human skin models that mimic many aspects of native human skin (NHS). However, their stratum corneum (SC) lipid composition differs from NHS causing a reduced skin barrier. The most pronounced differences in lipid composition are a reduction in lipid chain length and increased monounsaturated lipids. The liver-X-receptor (LXR) activates the monounsaturated lipid synthesis via stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1). Therefore, the aim was to improve the SC lipid synthesis of FTMs by LXR deactivation. This was achieved by supplementing culture medium with LXR antagonist GSK2033. LXR agonist T0901317 was added for comparison. Subsequently, epidermal morphogenesis, lipid composition, lipid organization and the barrier functionality of these FTMs were assessed. We demonstrate that LXR deactivation resulted in a lipid composition with increased overall chain lengths and reduced levels of monounsaturation, whereas LXR activation increased the amount of monounsaturated lipids and led to a reduction in the overall chain length. However, these changes did not affect the barrier functionality. In conclusion, LXR deactivation led to the development of FTMs with improved lipid properties, which mimic the lipid composition of NHS more closely. These novel findings may contribute to design interventions to normalize SC lipid composition of atopic dermatitis patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number158546
Pages (from-to)158546
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Ceramides/metabolism
  • Culture Media/pharmacology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic/drug therapy
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Fluorinated/pharmacology
  • Lipogenesis/drug effects
  • Liver X Receptors/agonists
  • Morphogenesis/drug effects
  • Primary Cell Culture/methods
  • Skin/drug effects
  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase/metabolism
  • Sulfonamides/pharmacology


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