Use of lipidomics to investigate sebum dysfunction in juvenile acne

June 2016

Camera E, Ludovici M, Tortorella S, Sinagra JL, Capitanio B, Goracci L, Picardo M.


Acne is a multifactorial skin disorder frequently observed during adolescence with different grades of severity. Multiple factors centering on sebum secretion are implicated in acne pathogenesis. Despite the recognized role of sebum, its compositional complexity and limited analytical approaches have hampered investigation of alterations specifically associated with acne. To examine the profiles of lipids distribution in acne sebum, 61 adolescents (29 males and 32 females) were enrolled in this study. Seventeen subjects presented no apparent clinical signs of acne. The 44 affected individuals were clinically classified as mild (13), moderate (19), and severe (12) acne. Sebum was sampled from the forehead with SebutapeTM adhesive patches. Profiles of neutral lipids were acquired with RR-RP/HPLC-TOF/MS in positive ion mode.  

Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses led to the identification of lipid species with significantly different levels between healthy and acne sebum. The majority of differentiating lipid species were diacylglycerols, followed by fatty acyls, sterols, and prenols. Overall, the data indicated an association between the clinical grading of acne and sebaceous lipid fingerprints and highlighted diacylglycerols as more abundant in sebum from adolescents affected with acne.