The aim of this paper was to explore the effects of Frankincense and Myrrh essential oil on transdermal absorption in vitro of Chuanxiong, and to investigate the possible penetration mechanism of their essential oil from the perspective of skin blood perfusion changes. Transdermal tests were performed in vitro with excised mice skin by improved Franz diffusion cells. The cumulative penetration amounts of ferulic acid in Chuanxiong were determined by HPLC to investigate the effects of Frankincense and Myrrh essential oil on transdermal permeation properties of Chuanxiong. Simultaneously, the skin blood flows were determined by laser flow doppler. The results showed that the cumulative penetration amount of ferulic acid in Chuanxiong was (8.13±0.76) μg•cm⁻² in 24 h, and was (48.91±4.87), (57.80±2.86), (63.34±4.56), (54.17±4.40), (62.52±7.79) μg•cm⁻² respectively in Azone group, Frankincense essential oil group, Myrrh essential oil, frankincense and myrrh singly extracted essential oil mixture group, and frankincense and myrrh mixed extraction essential oil group. The enhancement ratios of each essential oil groups were 7.68, 8.26, 7.26, 8.28, which were slightly greater than 6.55 in Azone group. In addition, as compared with the conditions before treatment, there were significant differences and obvious increasing trend in blood flow of rats in Frankincense essential oil group, Myrrh essential oil group, frankincense and myrrh singly extracted essential oil mixture group, and frankincense and myrrh mixed extraction essential oil group when were dosed at 10, 20, 30, 10 min respectively, indicating that the skin blood flows were increased under the effects of Frankincense and Myrrh essential oil to a certain extent. Thus, Frankincense and Myrrh essential oil had certain effect on promoting permeability of Chuanxiong both before and after drug combination, and may promote the elimination of drugs from epidermis to dermal capillaries through increase of skin blood flow, thus enhancing the transdermal permeation amounts of drugs.
Keywords: Chuanxiong; Frankincense and Myrrh; essential oil; penetration mechanism; skin blood flow; transdermal absorption.
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