Dictionary > Sebum

Sebum

Definition
noun
An oily substance produced and secreted by sebaceous gland
Supplement
Sebum is the substance produced and secreted by the sebaceous gland. Sebaceous glands are an exocrine gland in the skin and function by secreting sebum often into the hair follicle. The sebum they secrete is essential in lubricating the hair and the skin. It is an oily substance that gives skin and hair its waterproof characteristic. In humans, the sebaceous glands are on all parts of the skin but they are greatest in number on the face and scalp and are lacking on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In humans, sebum is composed primarily of the following: triglycerides (~41%), wax esters (~26%), squalene (~12%), and free fatty acids(~16%).1, 2
Sebum helps reduce water loss from the skin surface and protects the skin from infection. Sebum is odorless. However, bacterial action on sebum results in the production of a strong body odour.
Sebum preputiale is a type of sebum that is secreted and collected under the prepuce of the foreskin of the penis or of the clitoris.
Word origin: Latin sebum ‎(tallow, grease)
See also:

Related term(s):

  • Sebum preputiale
  • Reference(s):

    1 Thody, A. J. and Shuster, S. (1989). “Control and Function of Sebaceous Glands”. Physiological Reviews. 69 (2): 383–416.

    2 Cheng, J. B. and D. W., Russell (September 2004). “Mammalian Wax Biosynthesis II: Expression cloning of wax synthase cDNAs encoding a member of the acyltransferase enzyme family”. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 279 (36): 37798–807.


    You will also like...

    Population Regulation in an Ecosystem
    Population Regulation in an Ecosystem

    With regard to the population size of a species and what factors may affect them, two factors have been defined. They ar..

    genes controlling growth and development
    Control of Growth & Development

    Control of Growth & Development tutorials look at how the genetic makeup determines the biological processes on a da..

    Chemical composition of the body
    Chemical Composition of the Body

    The body is comprised of different elements with hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen as the major four. This tutorial..

    Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes
    Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes

    Learn about the general structure of a eukaryotic gene, the transcription factors, and post-transcriptional regulation....

    3D rendering of an antibody
    Passive and Active Types of Immunity

    Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell capable of producing a specific immune response to unique antigens. In thi..

    Plant biology
    Plant Biology

    Plantlife can be studied at a variety of levels, from the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, c..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics