The Effect of Skin Metabolism on the Absorption of Chemicals

Feb 1, 2013 | Contact Author | By: Alain Mavon, PhD, and Carine Jacques-Jamin, PhD, Oriflame Cosmetics AB, Skin Research Institute
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Title: The Effect of Skin Metabolism on the Absorption of Chemicals
pig skinx deliveryx xenobioticsx alternative modelx cytochrome P450x enzymesx radio-HPLCx LC-MSx GC-MSx NMRx
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Keywords: pig skin | delivery | xenobiotics | alternative model | cytochrome P450 | enzymes | radio-HPLC | LC-MS | GC-MS | NMR

Abstract: Skin expresses enzymes that can metabolize endogenous molecules but little is known regarding how they impact the delivery of xenobiotics. This review of recent works shows that skin metabolism alters the dermal absorption of lipophilic compounds, which opens new areas of investigation regarding the safety and efficacy of topically applied cosmetics.

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A Mavon and C Jacques-Jamin, The effect of skin metabolism on the absorption of chemicals, Cosm & Toil 128(2) 98-103 (Feb 2013)

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The major function of skin, thanks to its stratum corneum location, is to prevent desiccation and protect against environmental hazards such as bacteria, chemicals and UV radiation. In addition to this primary role as a barrier, the skin is a metabolically active tissue that contains enzymes able to metabolize not only endogenous chemicals such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and steroid hormones, but also xenobiotics. Being the largest organ of the body, the skin is exposed both acutely and chronically to a wide variety of xenobiotics, either unintentionally through environmental pollutants or intentionally through drugs and cosmetics.

When xenobiotics contact the skin, lipophilic compounds are converted into more polar, water-soluble compounds. However, the role of this conversion in the absorption process is yet unknown, and understanding these mechanisms is important to understanding their impact on topical delivery. Therefore, the authors sought to develop a method to characterize these metabolic effects on absorption.

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This content is adapted from an article in GCI Magazine. The original version can be found here.

 

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Table 1. Chemical structure, radiochemical purity, molecular weight and octanol/water partition coefficient of the xenobiotics tested

Table 1. Chemical structure, radiochemical purity, molecular weight and octanol/water partition coefficient of the xenobiotics tested

Three compounds, 7-ethoxycoumarine (7-EC), benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and testosterone, were selected both according to their log Ko/w, which reflects increasing lipophilicity.

Figure 1. Viable pig ear skin explants on a six-well plate culture insert

Figure 1. Viable pig ear skin explants on a six-well plate culture insert

Skin punches were seeded dermal side-down in polycarbonate inserts and placed in a 6-well plate prefilled with 1.5 mL culture medium (DMEM) at 37°C in a 5% CO2 air incubator.

Figure 2. Compartmental analysis of testosterone

Figure 2. Compartmental analysis of testosterone

Compartmental analysis at the skin surface, in the skin and in the culture medium of testosterone and its metabolites: a) in viable skin and b) frozen; data is expressed in percentage of the applied dose and the X axis represents amounts tested in nmoles.

Figure 3. Compartmental analysis of BaP

Figure 3. Compartmental analysis of BaP

Compartmental analysis at the skin surface, in the skin and in the culture medium of BaP and its metabolites: a) in viable and b) frozen skin; data is expressed in percentage of the applied dose and the X axis represents amounts tested in nmoles.

Figure 4. Extent of delivery of the parent compounds and metabolites

Figure 4. Extent of delivery of the parent compounds and metabolites

Extent of delivery of the parent compounds and metabolites through the skin (culture medium) in both frozen and fresh viable skin for the three model substrates at 200 nmoles; data is expressed as a percentage of the applied dose of radioactivity; log Ko/w of 7-EC, testosterone and BaP is 1.3; 3.3 and 6.5, respectively.

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