Paradoxical effects of β-estradiol on epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis
Previous studies have demonstrated that sex hormones modulate epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis, and when the balance of these hormones is altered at menopause or during the menstrual cycle, skin sensitivity or barrier function is changed. Objectives
To observe the direct effects of sex hormones on epidermal homeostasis. Methods
We examined the effects of topical application of sex hormones on permeability barrier recovery after tape stripping in the hairless mouse. To avoid the influence of systemic hormonal alteration, we employed male animals. Results
Application of androgen (testosterone or androsterone) delayed the barrier recovery, and the delay was overcome by co-application of β-estradiol. Progesterone also delayed the barrier recovery, but in this case the delay was enhanced by β-estradiol. Conclusions
These results suggest that changes in sex hormone balance might be associated with the skin dysfunction that often occurs during menopause, and at certain points during the menstrual cycle.