Effects of HPE-101, a skin penetration enhancer, on human erythrocyte membranes

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The primary aim of this study was to investigate the skin permeation-enhancing mechanism of HPE-101 using erythrocyte ghost cells prepared from human whole blood as a biomembrane model. The extent of hemolysis of erythrocytes induced by HPE-101 was measured using a spectrophotometer at 540 nm. The effect of HPE-101 on lipid fluidity was examined by observing the change of intramolecular excimer formation and fluorescence polarization using an intramolecular probe (1,3-bis(pyrene) propane) and a lipid probe (1,6-diphenyl 1,3,5-hexatriene), respectively. Hemolysis of erythrocytes was observed at 0.01 mM and completed at 1.0 mM of HPE-101. The fluorescence polarization of the ghost membrane decreased with the addition of HPE-101, whereas the intramolecular excimer formation increased. HPE-101 thus enhanced the rotational mobility and the lateral diffusion, thereby decreasing the microviscosity of ghost membranes, implying that HPE-101 increases the lipid fluidity of ghost membranes. Therefore, HPE-101 seems to cause an increase in fluidity of the lipid bilayers in the stratum corneum of the skin, resulting in the reduction of diffusion resistance.

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