Effects of oxygen-containing terpenes as skin permeation enhancers on the lipoidal pathways of human epidermal membrane

J Pharm Sci. 2009 Oct;98(10):3617-32. doi: 10.1002/jps.21666.

Abstract

The present study investigated the effects of oxygen-containing terpenes as skin permeation enhancers on the lipoidal pathways of human epidermal membrane (HEM). The enhancement (E(HEM)) effects of menthol, thymol, carvacrol, menthone, and cineole on the transport of a probe permeant, corticosterone, across HEM were determined. It was found that the enhancer potencies of menthol, thymol, carvacrol, and menthone were essentially the same and higher than that of cineole based on their aqueous concentration in the diffusion cell chamber at E(HEM) = 4. Thymol and carvacrol also had the same E(HEM) = 10 concentration further supporting that they had the same enhancer potency based on the aqueous concentration. The uptake amounts of terpene into the HEM stratum corneum (SC) intercellular lipid under the same conditions indicate that the intrinsic potencies of the studied terpenes are the same based on their concentration in the SC and similar to those of n-alkanol and n-alkylphenyl alcohol. Moreover, they are all better enhancers compared to branched-chain alkanol. The approximately same uptake enhancement of beta-estradiol induced by the studied terpenes and alcohols at E(HEM) conditions into the SC intercellular lipids suggests that the mechanism of enhancement action for the terpenes and those of alcohols are essentially the same.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Electric Impedance
  • Epidermis / chemistry
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Excipients
  • Female
  • Heptanes / chemistry
  • Heptanes / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Oxygen / chemistry*
  • Permeability
  • Skin Absorption / drug effects*
  • Solubility
  • Terpenes / chemistry
  • Terpenes / pharmacology*

Substances

  • Excipients
  • Heptanes
  • Lipids
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Terpenes
  • n-heptane
  • Oxygen