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ImageFile = 7-Dehydrochlolesterol.png ImageSize =
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Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
CASNo = 434-16-2
PubChem = 172
MeSHName = 7-dehydrocholesterol

Section2 = Chembox Properties
Formula = C27H44O
MolarMass = 384.638
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Section3 = Chembox Hazards
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7-Dehydrocholesterol is a zoosterol that functions in the serum as a cholesterol precursor, and is converted to pre-vitamin D3 in the skin, therefore functioning as provitamin-D3. The presence of this compound in human skin enables humans to manufacture vitamin D3 from ultra-violet rays in the sun light, via an intermediate isomer pre-vitamin D3. It is also found in the milk of several mammalian species. ["7-dehydrocholesterol." The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. 21 Jan. 2007. [http://www.answers.com/topic/7-dehydrocholesterol Answers.com] .] It was discovered by Nobel-laureate organic chemist Adolf Windaus.


The skin consists of two primary layers: the inner layer called the dermis, composed largely of connective tissue, and the outer thinner epidermis. The thickness of the epidermis ranges from 0.08mm to more than 0.6mm (0.003 to 0.024 inches). [ Frediric Martini et al. (2006). Human Anatomy. Pearson/Benjamin-Cummings Publishers, p. 89. ISBN:0-8053-7211-3.] The epidermis consists of five "strata"; from outer to inner they are: the stratum corneum, stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and stratum basale. The highest concentrations of 7-dehydrocholesterol are found in the epidermal layer of skin, specifically in the stratum basale and stratum spinosum. Norman, Anthony W. (1998) [http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/67/6/1108.pdf Sunlight, season, skin pigmentation, vitamin D, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D:integral components of the vitamin D endocrine system.] Am J Clin Nutr;67:1108–10.] The production of pre-vitamin D3 is therefore greatest in these two layers, whereas production in the other layers is reduced.


Synthesis of pre-vitamin D3 in the skin involves UVB radiation which effectively penetrates only the epidermal layers of skin. 7-Dehydrocholesterol absorbs UV light most effectively at wavelengths between 270–290 nm and thus the production of vitamin D3 will only occur at those wavelengths. The two most important factors that govern the generation of pre-vitamin D3 are the quantity (intensity) and quality (appropriate wavelength) of the UVB irradiation reaching the 7-dehydrocholesterol deep in the stratum basale and stratum spinosum. Another important consideration is the quantity of 7-dehydrocholesterol present in the skin. Under normal circumstances, ample quantities of 7-dehydrocholesterol (about 25–50 mg/cm2 of skin) are available in the stratum spinosum and stratum basale of human skin to meet the body's vitamin D requirements.

ee also

* Vitamin D
* Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
* 7-Dehydrocholesterol reductase


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • dehydrocholesterol — dē|hīdrō+ noun Etymology: dehydr + cholesterol : a crystalline steroid alcohol C27H43OH that occurs chiefly in higher animals and man (as in the skin), that is made synthetically from cholesterol, and that yields vitamin D3 on irradiation with… …   Useful english dictionary

  • dehydrocholesterol — noun A sterol, found in the skin, that, on exposure to light, is converted into vitamin D …   Wiktionary

  • dehydrocholesterol — [di:ˌhʌɪdrə(ʊ)kə lɛstərɒl] noun Biochemistry a compound present in the skin, which is converted to cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) by ultraviolet light. Origin 1930s: from dehydro that has lost hydrogen + cholesterol …   English new terms dictionary

  • dehydrocholesterol — de·hy·dro·cholesterol …   English syllables

  • 7-Dehydrocholesterol reductase — Identifiers Symbols DHCR7; SLOS External IDs OMIM …   Wikipedia

  • 7-Dehydrocholesterol — Strukturformel Allgemeines Name 7 Dehydrocholesterol Andere Namen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • 24-dehydrocholesterol reductase — Identifiers Symbols DHCR24; DCE; KIAA0018; Nbla03646; SELADIN1; seladin 1 External IDs …   Wikipedia

  • 7-Dehydrocholesterol-Reduktase — Masse/Länge Primärstruktur 475 Aminosäuren …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • 24-dehydrocholesterol — SYN: desmosterol. * * * 24 dehydrocholesterol .twen tē fōr , .twən , fȯr n DESMOSTEROL …   Medical dictionary

  • 7-dehydrocholesterol — noun see dehydrocholesterol …   Useful english dictionary

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