Macromolecular carbonyls in human stratum corneum: A biomarker for environmental oxidant exposure?

Jens J. Thiele, Maret G. Traber, Roberta Re, Nathalie Espuno, Liang Jun Yan, Carroll E. Cross, Lester Packer

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35 Scopus citations


The presence of stratum corneum carbonyls may serve as an intrinsic dosimeter for environmental oxidative damage to skin. To investigate the accumulation of carbonyls in human stratum corneum, skin was tape-stripped, then tapes were sequentially incubated with 2,4-dinitrophenyl hydrazine (DNPH), rat anti-DNP, mouse anti-rat IgG conjugated with alkaline phosphatase, p-nitrophenyl phosphate and absorbance (405 nm) measured and carbonyls estimated. Stratum corneum exposed in vitro to oxidants: hypochlorous acid (1, 10, 100 mM, ozone (0, 1, 5, 10 ppm for 2 h) or UV light (280-400 nm; 0, 4, 88, or 24 J/cm2) contained increased carbonyls. Furthermore, stratum corneum carbonyls mere elevated in tanned compared with untanned sites: dorsal hand (0.43 ± 0.06 nmol/m2) vs. lower arm (0.32 ± 0.04, mean ± S.E.M., n = 11; P < 0.003) and lower hack (0.26 ± 0.02) vs, buttock (0.21 ± 0.02; n = 6, P < 0.01) indicating in vivo oxidative damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-406
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 6 Feb 1998


  • Carbonyl
  • Oxidation stress
  • Ozone
  • Skin
  • Ultraviolet light


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