[Pharmacologic effects of biotin on epidermal cells].
Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 1991;133(6):277-83. PMID: 1718031
Biotin deficiency in animals causes pathological changes of the skin and its appendages including, for example, exfoliative dermatitis, depigmentation, and alopecia. The hooves of biotin-deficient swine are weak, brittle, and often necrotic. These changes disappear after dietary biotin supplementation. Biotin supplementation also noticeably improves the hoof quality of horses, cattle and swine having no apparent biotin deficiency. In order to elucidate the molecular basis of these effects, the influence of biotin on cytokeratin expression in a keratinocyte cell line (Ha-CaT) was investigated using electrophoretic and immunological techniques. Pharmacological biotin concentrations of 1 microM, and 100 microM in the culture medium caused a specific increase in cytokeratins, which are normally induced upon terminal differentiation of epidermal cells in vivo. The expression of cytokeratins occurring in stratified epithelia independent of differentiation were not affected. These findings show that biotin directly stimulates the differentiation of epidermal cells. Such a molecular mechanism revealed in cell culture could provide an explanation for the therapeutic effects of pharmacological doses of biotin on hoof quality in farm animals.