Fatty acid alterations and carboxylase deficiencies in the skin of biotin-deficient rats

Virginia K. Proud, William B. Rizzo, James W. Patterson, Gregory S. Heard, Barry Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Full-thickness biopsies of haired and alopecic skin of biotin-deficient rats had less subcutaneous fat and showed lipophilic follicular plugging, vascular engorgement, epidermal hyperplasia, and abnormal keratinization. Mean activities of the three mitochondrial biotin-dependent carboxylases in the skin of biotin-deficient animals were reduced to 3-18% of control whereas the cytosolic enzyme, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, was reduced only to 38-61%. The total fatty acid content of haired and alopecic skin of deficient rats was 30% of those in the corresponding skin sites of control animals. Skin from deficient rats contained less of several long-chain fatty acids (16:0, 16:1, 18:0, 18:1, and 18:2) and more verylong-chain fatty acid, particularly 24:1 and 26:1. These alterations in fatty acids in biotin-deficient rats suggest that the skin findings in biotin and biotinidase deficiencies in humans may be due to similar fatty acid changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-858
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1990


  • Biotin deficiency
  • Biotin-dependent carboxylases
  • Biotinidase deficiency
  • Fatty acids
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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