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Journal of Veterinary Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 231526, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of Essential Oils and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Canine Skin Equivalents: Skin Lipid Assessment and Morphological Evaluation

1UNIVET S.L., Edificio Astrolabio, Avenue Cerdanyola 92, 08172 Sant Cugat del Vallés, Barcelona, Spain
2Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery, Veterinary Faculty, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08913 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
3MERIAL, Avenue Tony Garnier 29, 69007 Lyon, France
4Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology, Veterinary Faculty, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08913 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain

Received 19 June 2013; Revised 23 September 2013; Accepted 24 September 2013

Academic Editor: Fulvia Bovera

Copyright © 2013 S. Cerrato et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A canine skin equivalent model has been validated for the assessment of a topical formulation effects. Skin equivalents were developed from freshly isolated cutaneous canine fibroblasts and keratinocytes, after enzymatic digestion of skin samples ( ) from different breeds. Fibroblasts were embedded into a collagen type I matrix, and keratinocytes were seeded onto its surface at air-liquid interface. Skin equivalents were supplemented with essential oils and polyunsaturated fatty acid formulation or with vehicle. Skin equivalents were histopathologically and ultrastructurally studied, and the three main lipid groups (free fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides) were analyzed. Results showed that the culture method developed resulted in significant improvements in cell retrieval and confluence. Treated samples presented a thicker epidermis with increased number of viable cell layers, a denser and compact stratum corneum, and a more continuous basal membrane. Regarding lipid profile, treated skin equivalents showed a significant increase in ceramide content ( ) when compared to untreated ( ) samples. Ultrastructural study evidenced a compact and well-organized stratum corneum in both treated and control skin equivalents. In conclusion, cell viability and ceramides increase, after lipid supplementation, are especially relevant for the treatment of skin barrier disruptions occurring in canine atopic dermatitis.