Natural lipid may be key to normalizing skin cell growth

August 7, 2007

Augusta, Ga. - Research conducted at the Medical College of Georgia suggests that the body may hold the secret to normalizing overzealous skin-cell growth in psoriasis and non-melanoma skin cancers and growth that is too slow in sun-damaged and aging skin, Medicalnewstoday.com reports.

Augusta, Ga. - Research conducted at the Medical College of Georgia suggests that the body may hold the secret to normalizing overzealous skin-cell growth in psoriasis and non-melanoma skin cancers and growth that is too slow in sun-damaged and aging skin, Medicalnewstoday.com reports.

According to the study, published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, phosphatidylglycerol, a natural body lipid or fat, appears to signal cells to normalize growth and maturation or differentiation.

Study authors say the research helps to piece together the signaling pathway that prompts skin cells to stop multiplying and start differentiating. Perhaps most importantly, the study shows that bypassing the pathway - which researchers suspect becomes dysfunctional in diseases such as psoriasis - and phosphatidylglycerol’s sending of the signal itself restores normal differentiation of keratinocytes.

The study’s findings have prompted researchers to seek National Institutes of Health funding for a yearlong study in animal models of mild psoriasis to see if the study’s findings prove out, with human trials as the next goal.