Primary sebocytes and sebaceous gland cell lines for studying sebaceous lipogenesis and sebaceous gland diseases.
Sebocytes, the major cell type in sebaceous glands, are differentiated epithelial cells that gradually accumulate lipids and eventually disrupt, releasing their content (sebum) in a secretory process known as holocrine secretion. Via the hair canal, sebum reaches the skin surface, where it has several known or postulated functions, including pheromonal, thermoregulatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. Altered sebum secretion and/or structural sebaceous gland changes have also been involved in the pathogenesis of skin diseases, such as acne vulgaris and some forms of alopecia. Here, we assess how recent work employing primary sebocytes and sebaceous gland cell lines contributed for our understanding of sebaceous lipogenesis and its role in skin health and disease.