Saturday 25 October, 2014

Your skin too can detect sandalwood scent!

Published On: Wed, Jul 9th, 2014 | Skin care | By BioNews

The nose is not the only place where olfactory receptors occur and researchers have now discovered that skin cells possess an olfactory receptor for sandalwood scent, frequently used in incense sticks and perfumes.

Cell proliferation increases and wound healing improves if those receptors are activated, the study noted, indicating that this mechanism constitutes a possible starting point for new drugs and cosmetics.

“The results so far show that they possess therapeutic and cosmetic potential,” said professor Hanns Hatt from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.

Keratinocytes – cells that form the outermost layer of the skin – have olfactory receptors, the findings showed.

The researchers studied the olfactory receptor that occurs in the skin, namely OR2AT4, and discovered that it is activated by a synthetic sandalwood scent, so-called Sandalore.

The activated OR2AT4 receptor triggers a calcium-dependent signal pathway. That pathway ensures an increased proliferation and a quicker migration of skin cells – processes which typically facilitate wound healing.

In addition to OR2AT4, the scientists also found a variety of other olfactory receptors in the skin, the function of which they are planning to characterise more precisely.

“We must not forget that concentrated fragrances should be handled with care, until we have ascertained which functions the different types of olfactory receptors in skin cells have,” Hatt cautioned.

The study appeared in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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