J Pharm Sci 2018 Jun 17;107(6):1648-1655. Epub 2018 Feb 17.
UCD School of Veterinary Medicine and UCD Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. Electronic address:
In addition to their solubilizing properties, excipients used in lipid-based formulations can improve intestinal permeability of macromolecules. We determined whether admixing of medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) permeation enhancers with a lipoidal excipient (Labrasol) could potentiate transepithelial flux of a poorly permeable macromolecule (fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran 4 kDa [FD4]) across rat intestinal mucosae mounted in Ussing chambers. Low concentrations of sodium caprate (C), sodium undecylenate (C), or sodium laurate (C) combined with Labrasol increased the apparent permeability coefficient (P) of FD4 to values typically seen with higher concentrations of MCFAs or Labrasol alone. For example, combination of C (0.5 mg/mL) with Labrasol (1 mg/mL) increased the P of FD4 by 10- and 11-fold over the respective individual agents at the same concentrations where no enhancement was evident. The increased enhancement ratios seen with the combinations were associated with some perturbation in intestinal histology and with attenuation of an epithelial functional measure, carbachol-stimulated inward short-circuit current. In conclusion, combining three MCFAs separately with Labrasol increased the P of FD4 to values greater than those seen for MCFAs or Labrasol alone. Ultimately, this may permit lower concentrations of MCFA to be used in combination with other excipients in oral formulations of poorly permeable molecules.