Protective effects of glycerol and xylitol in keratinocytes exposed to hyperosmotic stress

Edit Szél, Judit Danis, Evelin Sőrés, Dániel Tóth, Csilla Korponyai, Döníz Degovics, János Prorok, Károly Acsai, Shabtay Dikstein, Lajos Kemény, Gábor Erős

Research output: Article


Purpose: Our goal was to study whether glycerol and xylitol provide protection against osmotic stress in keratinocytes. Methods: The experiments were performed on HaCaT keratinocytes. Hyperosmotic stress was induced by the addition of sorbitol (450, 500 and 600 mOsm). Both polyols were applied at two different concentrations (glycerol: 0.027% and 0.27%, xylitol: 0.045% and 0.45%). Cellular viability and cytotoxicity were assessed, intracellular Ca2+ concentration was measured, and the RNA expression of inflammatory cytokines was determined by means of PCR. Differences among groups were analyzed with one-way ANOVA and Holm-Sidak post-hoc test. When the normality test failed, Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance on ranks, followed by Dunn’s method for pairwise multiple comparison was performed. Results: The higher concentrations of the polyols were effective. Glycerol ameliorated the cellular viability while xylitol prevented the rapid Ca2+ signal. Both polyols suppressed the expression of IL-1α but only glycerol decreased the expression of IL-1β and NFAT5. Conclusions: Glycerol and xylitol protect keratinocytes against osmotic stress. Despite their similar chemical structure, the effect of these polyols displayed differences. Hence, joint application of glycerol and xylitol may be a useful therapeutic approach for different skin disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalClinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

Cite this

Szél, E., Danis, J., Sőrés, E., Tóth, D., Korponyai, C., Degovics, D., Prorok, J., Acsai, K., Dikstein, S., Kemény, L., & Erős, G. (2019). Protective effects of glycerol and xylitol in keratinocytes exposed to hyperosmotic stress. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 12, 323-331.