Oleic acid, a skin penetration enhancer, affects Langerhans cells and corneocytes

E. Touitou, B. Godin, Y. Karl, S. Bujanover, Y. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Permeation enhancers (PE) are frequently used in the field of dermal research and for the development of transdermal delivery products. However, their influence on skin epidermal Langerhans cells (LC) has not yet been investigated. In this work we studied the effect of four PE, oleic acid (OA), propylene glycol (PG), ethanol, and diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (DGME), and an iontophoretic treatment on the morphometric parameters of epidermal Langerhans cells (LC). Retinoic acid (RA) was used as a positive control. Test solutions were applied to the footpad of Sabra mice. The area, perimeter, density and shape factor (SF) were the morphometric parameters evaluated following ATPase staining of LC. Application of RA led to a large decrease in cell density (-50.2%, P<0.01) and dendritic shape (19.8%, P<0.01). Treatment with 10% OA in ethanolic solution caused a severe decrease in LC density (-69.0%, P<0.01), accompanied by a decrease in dendricity as measured by the changes in SF. Ethanol had no statistically significant effect on the LC morphologic parameters tested. All other PE had a mild, if any, effect on LC morphology. SEM micrographs of the skin of IOPS hairless rats demonstrated that 24 h in vivo treatment with 10% OA in ethanolic solution resulted in the generation of pores on the surface of epidermal corneocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Apr 23 2002


  • Langerhans cells
  • Oleic acid
  • Permeation enhancers
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Oleic acid, a skin penetration enhancer, affects Langerhans cells and corneocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this