The active compounds derived fromPsoralea corylifoliafor photochemotherapy against psoriasis-like lesions: The relationship between structure and percutaneous absorption

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8-Methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) in combination with ultraviolet A (PUVA) is a photochemotherapy for management of psoriasis. 8-MOP is a natural compound from Psoralea corylifolia. The present work was undertaken to evaluate the percutaneous absorption of five compounds derived from P. corylifolia, and to further explore the inhibitory effect on psoriasis-like lesions generated by imiquimod stimulation in a mouse model. 8-MOP, psoralen, isopsoralen, psoralidin, and bakuchiol were comparatively tested for in vitro skin permeation, keratinocyte apoptosis, and in vivo antipsoriatic potency. The pig ear skin deposition of 8-MOP, isopsoralen, and bakuchiol at an equimolar dose was 0.47, 0.58, and 0.50nmol/mg, respectively, which was comparable and higher than that of psoralen (0.25nmol/mg) and psoralidin (0.14nmol/mg). Psoralidin and bakuchiol were absorbed into the skin without further penetration across the skin. Besides experimental data of physicochemical properties, the hydrogen bond number, total polarity surface, and stratum corneum lipid docking calculated could explain the correlation of the penetrant structure with the skin permeability. The antiproliferative activity against keratinocytes was stronger for 8-MOP and isopsoralen than the others. Topical application of PUVA by using 8-MOP and isopsoralen on imiquimod-induced plaque significantly reduced transepidermal water loss from 55 to 33 and 38g/m2/h, respectively. The epidermal thickening elicited by imiquimod (117μm) was decreased to 62 and 26μm by 8-MOP and isopsoralen application. IL-6 expression in psoriasiform skin was downregulated by isopsoralen but not 8-MOP. Isopsoralen may be a potential candidate for PUVA therapy.

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