And Wayne G Wamer

*National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration Jefferson, Arkansas 72079 {Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration College Park, Maryland 20740

I. Introduction

II. Structure and Physiological Functions of the Skin

III. Cutaneous Absorption and Deposition of Dietary and Topically Applied Retinol and Retinyl Esters

A. Absorption and Deposition of Dietary Vitamin A by the Skin

B. Absorption and Deposition of Topically Applied Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate

C. Physiological and Environmental Factors Affecting Cutaneous Levels of Retinol and Retinyl Esters

IV. Mobilization and Metabolism of Retinol and Retinyl Esters in the Skin

V. Effects on Selected Biological Responses of the Skin

A. Immune Response

B. Wound Healing

C. Aging

D. Response to UV Light

Vitamins and Hormones, Volume 75 Copyright 2007, Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

0083-6729/07 $35.00 DOI: 10.1016/S0083-6729(06)75009-9

VI. Summary References

The skin is similar to other organs in how it absorbs, stores, and metabolizes vitamin A. However, because of the anatomical location of skin and the specialized physiological roles it plays, there are ways in which the skin is rather unique. The stratified structure of the epidermis results from the orchestration of retinoid-influenced cellular division and differentiation. Similarly, many of the physiological responses of the skin, such as dermal aging, immune defense, and wound healing, are significantly affected by retinoids. While much is known about the molecular events through which retinoids affect the skin's responses, more remains to be learned. Interest in the effects of retinol, retinyl palmitate, and other retinoids on the skin, fueled in part by the promise of improved dermatologic and cosmetic products, will undoubtedly make the effects of retinoids on skin a subject for continued intense investigation. © 2007 Elsevier Inc.

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