Original Research Article
Morphologic Basis for a Pore-Pathway in Mammalian Stratum CorneumMenon G.K. · Elias P.M.
Dermatology Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, Calif., USA
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Article / Publication Details
Although prior morphologic studies have shown that both polar and nonpolar materials permeate across the stratum corneum (SC) via a paracellular route, the actual pathway through these heterogeneous domains is unknown. We applied hydrophilic and hydrophobic tracers in vivo to murine skin under basal conditions and/or after permeation enhancement with occlusion, vehicle enhancers, a lipid synthesis inhibitor, sonophoresis, and iontophoresis. Ruthenium tetroxide, ruthenium red plus osmium tetroxide, in situ precipitation with osmium vapor, and microwave postfixation methods were used to visualize penetration pathways. Tracers invariably localized to discrete lacunar domains, embedded within the extracellular lamellar membrane system, regardless of their polarity or the enhancement method. Moreover, while the lacunar domains remained discontinuous under basal conditions, they appeared to gain structural continuity with permeation enhancement. These results indicate that extracellular lacunar domains comprise a pore pathway for penetration of polar and nonpolar molecules across the SC.
© 1997 S. Karger AG, Basel
Article / Publication Details
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