Beyond acne: Current aspects of sebaceous gland biology and function

Christos C. Zouboulis, Mauro Picardo, Qiang Ju, Ichiro Kurokawa, Dániel Törőcsik, Tamás Bíró, Marlon R. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sebaceous gland is most commonly found in association with a hair follicle. Its traditional function is the holocrine production of sebum, a complex mixture of lipids, cell debris, and other rather poorly characterized substances. Due to the gland’s central role in acne pathogenesis, early research had focused on its lipogenic activity. Less studied aspects of the sebaceous gland, such as stem cell biology, the regulation of cellular differentiation by transcription factors, the significance of specific lipid fractions, the endocrine and specially the neuroendocrine role of the sebaceous gland, and its contribution to the innate immunity, the detoxification of the skin, and skin aging have only recently attracted the attention of researchers from different disciplines. Here, we summarize recent multidisciplinary progress in sebaceous gland research and discuss how sebaceous gland research may stimulate the development of novel therapeutic strategies targeting specific molecular pathways of the pathogenesis of skin diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalReviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 11 2016


  • Cell function
  • Cells
  • Culture models
  • Ex vivo
  • Human
  • In vitro
  • Lipidomics
  • Lipids
  • Neuropeptides
  • Progenitor cells
  • Proteome
  • Sebaceous differentiation
  • Sebaceous gland
  • Sebaceous lineage
  • Sebocyte
  • Sebum
  • Secretome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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