Exocytosis of lamellar bodies at the uppermost nucleated layer of the epidermis is a crucial process for epidermal permeability barrier homoeostasis. We have previously suggested that skin surface electric potential might be associated with barrier homoeostasis. Thus, we hypothesized that the potential might drive exocytosis of lamellar bodies. In this study, we tested this idea by applying negative electric potential (-0.5 V) to human skin samples ex vivo for 2 h and observing the ultrastructure of the uppermost layer. The secretion of lamellar bodies was accelerated in the potential-applied skin, compared to that in untreated control skin. Multiphoton observation indicated that extracellular lipid domains were more extensive in treated skin than in control skin. Moreover, the calcium ion gradient was greater at the uppermost layer of the epidermis of treated skin, compared to that in control skin. These results indicate that electric potential may regulate lamellar body secretion in healthy human skin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas