Table 1

Structure and correspondent nomenclatures of human epidermal ceramides.

    Fatty acid moiety    

    Non-hydroxyl fatty acid (N) Alpha-hydroxyl fatty acid (A) Omega-hydroxyl fatty acid (O) Esterified omega-hydroxyl fatty acid (EO)
Sphingoid base moeity     Dihydrosphyngosine (dS) Cer[NdS] Cer[AdS] Cer[OdS] Cer[EOdS]
Sphingosine (S) Cer[NS] Cer[AS] Cer[OS] Cer[EOS]
Phytosphingosine (P) Cer[NP] Cer[AP] Cer[OP] Cer[EOP]
6-Hydroxysphingosine (H) Cer[NH] Cer[AH] Cer[OH] Cer[EOH]

Note: Epidermal ceramides (Cer) are classified into 19 classes depending on their sphingoid base and fatty acid moieties. Ceramide species are additionally defined by fatty acid chain length. Fatty acids [N] and [A] contain C16-C30 whereas fatty acids [O] and [EO] contain C28-36. Ceramides can be glycosylated (not represented) and Cer[OS] can be covalently bound to cornified envelope protein shell. Omega-hydroxy-ceramide include: Cer[Ods], Cer[OS], Cer[OP], Cer[OH]; omega-O-acylceramide include: Cer[EOds], Cer[EOS], Cer[EOP], Cer[EOH]. Ceramide name in square brackets correspond to the Motta nomenclature (Motta et al., 1993).

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