Elucidation of the percutaneous absorption of chromium compounds by functional proteomics.

PMID 19771553


Chromium compounds are known to be associated with cytotoxicity and carcinogenicity when applied via a skin route. The aim of this study was to evaluate the skin permeability and toxicological profiles of four chromium species. Chromium permeation across the skin, as determined by an in vitro Franz cell, decreased in the order of sodium chromate>potassium chromate>potassium dichromate>chromium nitrate. The uptake of chromium species within the skin generally showed a contrary trend to the results of permeation, although differences among the various compounds were not large. Levels of in vivo skin deposition of the four compounds showed no statistically significant differences. Potassium chromate produced the greatest disruption of the skin structure as determined by HE staining, followed in order by sodium chromate, potassium dichromate, and chromium nitrate. This indicates that hexavalent chromium elicited greater toxicity to the skin compared to trivalent chromium. A similar result was observed for the viability of skin fibroblasts. To improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to functional changes in proteins, proteomic tools, including 2-DE and MS techniques combined with sequence database correlations, were applied to identify target proteins altered by pathologic states. Eight protein spots, corresponding to cutaneous enzymes involved in energy metabolism and chaperon proteins, which were identified and discussed in this study, were associated with skin cytotoxicity, immunity, and carcinogenesis. In addition, functional proteomics of skin tissues may provide a promising tool for developing therapeutic strategies and can serve as the basis for further research.