TMEM79 is a predisposing gene for atopic dermatitis. Tmem79-deficient mice develop spontaneous dermatitis in a biphasic pattern. The first-phase dermatitis is unique because it occurs independent of microbiota status, whereas the second-phase dermatitis is microbiota dependent. In this study, we sought to identify the key factors mediating the development of first-phase dermatitis. Structural analysis showed that sebaceous gland hyperplasia started from first-phase dermatitis. Longitudinal RNA sequencing analysis revealed significant activation of fatty acid lipid metabolism pathways in first-phase dermatitis, whereas T helper 17‒based immune response genes were highly expressed in second-phase dermatitis. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that genes involved in fatty acid elongation and sebocyte differentiation were upregulated in first-phase dermatitis. The results of thin-layer chromatography supported these findings with an increased abundance of wax esters, cholesterol esters, and fatty alcohols in hair lipids. Further gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis showed an increase in total fatty acid production, including that of elongated C20–24 saturated and C18–24 monounsaturated fatty acids. Collectively, these results suggest that aberrant production of sebaceous long-chain fatty acids is associated with microbiota-independent dermatitis. Further investigation of Tmem79-deficient mice may clarify the role of certain fatty acids in dermatitis.
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