Polyphenolic compounds-mangiferin and hesperidin-are, among others, the most important secondary metabolites of African shrub Cyclopia sp. (honeybush). The aim of this study was to compare the percutaneous absorption of mangiferin and hesperidin from solutions (water, ethanol 50%, (v/v)) and extracts obtained from green and fermented honeybush (water, ethanol 50%, (v/v)). Research was performed with the Bronaugh cells, on human dorsal skin. The mangiferin and hesperidin distributions in skin layers (stratum corneum, epidermis, and dermis) and in acceptor fluid (in every 2, 4, 6, and 24 h) were evaluated by HPLC-Photodiode Array Coulometric and Coulometric Electrochemical Array Detection. The transdermal distribution of hesperidin was also demonstrated by fluorescence microscopy. Results indicated that mangiferin and hesperidin were able to cross the stratum corneum and penetrate into the epidermis and dermis. An advantage of hesperidin penetration into the skin from the water over ethanol solution was observed (451.02 ± 14.50 vs. 357.39 ± 4.51 ng/cm2), as well as in the mangiferin study (127.56 ± 9.49 vs. 97.23 ± 2.92 ng/cm2). Furthermore, mangiferin penetration was more evident from nonfermented honeybush ethanol extract (189.85 ± 4.11 ng/cm2) than from solutions. The permeation of mangiferin and hesperidin through the skin to the acceptor fluid was observed regardless of whether the solution or the honeybush extract was applied. The highest ability to permeate the skin was demonstrated for the water solution of hesperidin (250.92 ± 16.01 ng/cm2), while the hesperidin occurring in the extracts permeated in a very low capacity. Mangiferin from nonfermented honeybush ethanol extract had the highest ability to permeate to the acceptor fluid within 24 h (152.36 ± 8.57 ng/cm2).
Keywords: Fabaceae; HPLC; fluorescent microscopy; honeybush; skin penetration; skin permeation.