Background Prostaglandins (PG) play an important role in cutaneous homeostasis. Among other skin cells, human sebocytes express cyclooxygenases and can produce PGE2. Various prostanoid receptors have been demonstrated in epidermis and hair follicles, while limited data are available regarding their expression in sebaceous glands. In addition, the interaction between PGE2 and androgenesis remains largely unclear. Objectives To examine the expression of PGE2 receptor (EP) and PGF 2α receptor (FP) in human sebocytes and the influence of PGE2 or PGF2α on testosterone production. Methods A reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction study was used to detect the expression of EP subtypes and FP. A testosterone radioimmunoassay was used to measure the amount of testosterone in the supernatant of cultured SZ95 sebocytes treated with PGE2 or PGF2α alone or in the presence of various androgen precursor substrates. Results SZ95 sebocytes expressed mainly EP2 and EP4 but not EP3 or FP. Testosterone production was not induced by PGE2 or PGF2α, alone or in the presence of cholesterol. PGE2 did not affect androgenesis in cultured sebocytes. Conclusions The expression patterns of prostanoid receptors differ between sebocytes, hair follicles and epidermis. The effects of PGE2 and PGF2α on the proliferation, lipogenesis and inflammation of sebocytes appear not to be associated with androgenesis.
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