An integrative multi-omic analysis reveals a major metabolic rewiring between baby foreskin keratinocytes and adult female abdominal keratinocytes


Even though its development starts early in utero, neonatal skin is still immature at birth relative to adult and undergoes a maturation process extending to the first years of life. It is now established that the stratum corneum is thinner and dryer and that skin contains less natural moisturizing factors and lipids in newborns compared to children and adults. Moreover, it has been shown that skin surface area expansion is not linear throughout life and is peaking perinatally, suggesting that baby skin has a higher epidermal cellular turnover. Despite growing resources showing differences between adult and infant skin physiology, molecular and metabolic specificities of baby skin are still poorly understood. To address this critical knowledge gap, we performed an integrative transcriptomic and metabolomic study comparing human primary foreskin and abdominal keratinocytes from male babies and female adults, respectively. Based on state-of-the-art integrative frameworks, our analyses revealed a major shift in the global energetic metabolism in baby foreskin keratinocytes compared to adult abdominal keratinocytes, highlighting increased amino acid metabolism and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in baby cells to fuel the citric acid cycle, while showing glycolysis as the major cell energy source in adult cells.

In Experimental Dermatology