Sandalwood scent facilitates wound healing and skin regeneration
We previously showed that the stimulation of keratinocytes with synthetic sandalwood odorants, often exposed to the skin as ingredients of perfumes, emollients, and cleaning agents, results in a transient increase of the intracellular calcium concentration (Sondersorg et al., 2014). This observation raises the question of whether keratinocytes express physiologically functional ORs that detect odorants such as synthetic sandalwood odorants.
Keratinocytes, the major cell type of the epidermal layer, express a variety of different sensory receptors that enable them to react to various environmental stimuli and process information in the skin. Here we report the identification of a novel type of chemoreceptors in human keratinocytes, the olfactory receptors (ORs). We cloned and functionally expressed the cutaneous OR, OR2AT4, and identified Sandalore, a synthetic sandalwood odorant, as an agonist of this receptor.
Moreover, the long-term stimulation of keratinocytes with Sandalore positively affected cell proliferation and migration, and regeneration of keratinocyte monolayers in an in vitro wound scratch assay. These findings combined with our studies on human skin organ cultures strongly indicate that the OR 2AT4 is involved in human keratinocyte re-epithelialization during wound-healing processes.
*A Synthetic Sandalwood Odorant Induces Wound-Healing Processes in Human Keratinocytes via the Olfactory Receptor OR2AT4 Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2014) 134, 2823–2832; doi:10.1038/jid.2014.273; published online 7 August 2014