The possible role of squalene and its peroxide of the sebum in the occurrence of sunburn and protection from the damage caused by U.V. irradiation

J Toxicol Sci. 1984 May;9(2):151-9. doi: 10.2131/jts.9.151.


To clarify the role of squalene peroxide in the occurrence of skin damage from sunburn, the optimum condition of squalene peroxidation and the effect of squalene peroxide on cutaneous tissue were examined. Peroxidation of squalene was more easily induced than palmitoleic acid and oleic acid in the unsaturated lipid occurred in sebum. The peroxidation of squalene gradually occurred by U.V. irradation, and it is parallel to increases in the malonyldialdehyde production (production of lipoperoxide). This peroxidation easily carries out in the case of high temperature (40 degrees C than 30 degrees C), and in the case of low pH. Good correspondence was recognized among the spectrum of natural daylight, U.V. absorption spectrum of squalene and erythema curve. Squalene and its peroxide have an important role in the occurrence of sunburn, and/or protection from damage caused by U.V. irradiation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Sebum / metabolism*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Squalene / analogs & derivatives*
  • Squalene / metabolism*
  • Sunburn / metabolism*
  • Sunburn / pathology
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology


  • 2,3-oxidosqualene
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Vitamin E
  • Squalene