Ann Dermatol.  2021 Oct;33(5):425-431. 10.5021/ad.2021.33.5.425.

Azidothymidine Downregulates Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Induced Lipogenesis by Suppressing Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Mitophagy in Immortalized Human Sebocytes

  • 1Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea


Increased sebum secretion is considered the main causative factor in the pathogenesis of acne. There is an unmet pharmacological need for a novel drug that can control sebum production with a favorable adverse effect profile.
To investigate the effect of azidothymidine on lipid synthesis in sebocytes and to identify the underlying mechanism of the inhibitory effect of azidothymidine on insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1-induced lipid synthesis in sebocytes.
Immortalized human sebocytes were used for the analysis. Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and Oil Red O staining were performed to evaluate lipid synthesis in the sebocytes. The differentiation, lipid synthesis, mitochondrial biogenesis, and mitophagy in sebocytes were investigated.
TLC and Oil Red O staining revealed that azidothymidine reduced IGF-1 induced lipid synthesis in the immortalized human sebocytes. Azidothymidine also reduced IGF-1-induced expression of transcriptional factors and enzymes involved in sebocyte differentiation and lipid synthesis, respectively. Moreover, we found that IGF-1 upregulated the levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1α, LC-3B, p62, and Parkin, major regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy in immortalized human sebocytes. In contrast, azidothymidine inhibited IGF-1 induced mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy in the sebocytes.
These results suggest that azidothymidine downregulates IGF-1-induced lipogenesis by dysregulating the quality of mitochondria through suppression of mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy in immortalized human sebocytes. Our study provides early evidence that azidothymidine may be an effective candidate for a new pharmacological agent for controlling lipogenesis in sebocytes.


Acne; Azidothymidine; Lipids; Mitochondria; Sebocyte
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