Nitric Oxide & Human Skin - Normal and Perturbed Conditions

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Investigations into the emanation of nitric oxide from adult human skin: rates of release, regional heterogeneity and impact of the presence of ammonia oxidizing bacteria.



  • Contact name

    Martin Feelisch

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Head of IP, Contacts and Policy

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 8 months, 27 days

  • Research summary

    Nitric oxide (NO) has been shown to be released from the skin of healthy individuals, but little is known about overall amounts compared to other bodily compartments. Compensating for NO losses to the environment by additional sources e.g. ammonia-oxidising bacteria (AOB) on the skin might enhance endogenous NO availability. OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this MMedSc project is to confirm that NO emanates from healthy human skin and to test whether the application of the cosmetic products AO+ Mist™ (AOBiome) or Nivea Express Hydration™ modifies NO physiology in health. METHODS: 20 healthy volunteer adults will undergo basic anthropometrics and fill in a brief questionnaire on their skin health. This will be followed by sampling of sebum, venous blood, skin pH, exhaled breath condensate & skin NO emanations pre- and post- moderate intensity exercise; sweat samples will additionally be collected after exercise. Volunteers will return to complete an identical protocol two weeks later, following a daily unilateral cosmetic intervention with either AO+ Mist™ (AOBiome) or the comparator Nivea Express Hydration™. Later, the NO/NOx content of samples will be calculated using established chemiluminescence detection (CLD) and ion chromatography methods. Individual whole-body NO production will be measured using the Oral Nitrate Test33. RESULTS: We anticipate observing a correlation between NO losses to the environment and total body NO production. We also anticipate temporal and special variation in NO levels intra- and inter-volunteers. We further hypothesize that local NO delivery is enhanced by cutaneous application of AOB. CONCLUSION: If adding AOB to the skin microbiome causes a positive frame shift towards optimal NO/NOx functioning, this could be adopted for clinical benefit. Increasing skin NO production might locally reinforce barrier/antimicrobial function and wound healing and modify systemic immunological and cardiovascular function, which could be investigated in future studies.

  • REC name


  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    18 Aug 2015

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion