International journal of pharmaceutics

Interaction of phloretin and 6-ketocholestanol with DPPC-liposomes as phospholipid model membranes.

PMID 15814239


Phloretin and 6-ketocholestanol are penetration enhancers for percutaneous delivery of certain topically applied drugs. In the present study some physicochemical experiments have been performed to elucidate the mechanism of action of phloretin and 6-ketocholestanol. The penetration enhancing effect of phloretin and 6-ketocholestanol is believed to be due to their increase of the fluidity of the intercellular lipid bilayers of the stratum corneum. Phospholipid vesicles were chosen as a simple model to represent these bilayers. The effect of phloretin and 6-ketocholestanol on phase transition temperature and enthalpy was studied using differential scanning calorimetry. Beside of that the size of liposomes was monitored when the amount of penetration enhancer in the liposome preparation was changed. Addition of increasing amounts of phloretin and 6-ketocholestanol to the bilayer resulted in lowering of phase transition temperatures and increasing the enthalpy. Additionally the size of the liposomes was increased when penetration enhancer was added. The results suggest that phloretin as well as 6-ketocholestanol would interact with stratum corneum lipids in a similar manner, both reduce the diffusional resistance of the stratum corneum to drugs with balanced hydrophilic-lipophilic characteristics.