An insight into the molecular mechanism of the temporary enhancement effect of isopulegol decanoate on the skin

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Chemical enhancers are widely used to facilitate drug permeation in transdermal drug delivery system (TDDS) and the effect of chemical enhancers is desired to be temporary. Though temporary enhancement effect of chemical enhancers has been widely discussed, there is still a lack of knowledge about the molecular mechanism of temporary enhancement effect. Using the skin permeation of flurbiprofen as a probe, the temporary enhancement effect of isopulegol decanoate (ISO-10) was evaluated with in vitro permeation experiment and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). In addition, molecular mechanism of skin recovery was explored with skin retention of ISO-10, attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), molecular dynamic (MD) simulation and transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Temporary enhancement effect of ISO-10 was observed by the permeation of flurbiprofen after the treatment of 180 min. Furthermore, temporary enhancement effect of ISO-10 on the diffusion of intercellular lipid in the stratum cornuem (SC) was observed by ATR-FTIR, molecular dynamic (MD) simulation. The SC barrier function recovered with the existence of ISO-10 in the lipid bilayer as indicated by the retention study and TEWL. In conclusion, the lipid bilayer accepted the enhancer as a new component to form a new stable arrangement, resulted the recovery of the skin barrier function. This work processed a novel mechanism of the recovery of skin barrier function after the addition of chemical enhancers.

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