The effects of para-phenylenediamine (PPD) on the skin fibroblast cells

Xenobiotica. 2019 Oct;49(10):1143-1148. doi: 10.1080/00498254.2018.1541264. Epub 2019 Jan 17.


1. Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) is the commonest and most well-known component of hair dyes. PPD is found in more than 1000 hair dye formulations and is the most frequently used permanent hair dye component in Europe, North America and East Asia. PPD containing hair dyes have been associated with cancer and mutagenicity. Apart from that, PPD has potential toxicity which includes acute toxicity such as allergic contact dermatitis and subacute toxicity. 2. In this study, we examined the effects of the PPD composition on the skin-isolated fibroblast cells. Fibroblast cells were isolated from the skin and cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, the collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), lipid peroxidation (LPO), damage to the lysosome release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and finally release of cytochrome c were examined following the exposure to various concentrations of PPD. 3. Our results showed that exposure to PPD increased ROS generation, LPO, the collapse of MMP, LDH release and cytochrome c release. Our results suggest that PPD can induce damage to the lysosomal membrane. 4. These results showed that PPD composition has a selective toxicity on skin fibroblasts cell and mitochondria are considered one of the goals of its toxicity.

Keywords: Para-phenylenediamine; fibroblast; lysosome; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / metabolism*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / pathology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Hair Dyes / adverse effects*
  • Hair Dyes / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Phenylenediamines / adverse effects*
  • Phenylenediamines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin / pathology


  • Hair Dyes
  • Phenylenediamines
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • 4-phenylenediamine