The molecular weight dependence of nasal absorption: the effect of absorption enhancers
Donovan, M.D.; Flynn, G.L.; Amidon, G.L.
Pharmaceutical Research 7(8): 808-815
ISSN/ISBN: 0724-8741 PMID: 2235878 DOI: 10.1023/a:1015904730599
A series of polyethylene glycols (PEGs) ranging in molecular weight from near 600 to over 2000 daltons was used to study the effects of three absorption enhancers (sodium glycocholate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and polyoxyethylene 9 lauryl ether) on the molecular weight permeability profile of the nasal mucosa of the rat. Molecular weight-permeability properties were studied both by following changes in the excretion of the polyethylene glycols as a function of their molecular size and by examining the nasal musoca for morphologic changes following exposure to the PEG/enhancer mixtures. Each absorption enhancer was found to affect the mucosa and its permeability in a unique manner. At a 1% concentration, sodium glycocholate only slightly affects tissues morphology and does not significantly alter the molecular weight permeability profile of the mucosa. In contrast, 1% sodium lauryl sulfate causes severe alteration of the mucosa and also greatly increases the absorption of both the PEG 600 and the PEG 2000 oligomers. Polyoxyethylene 9 lauryl ether was found to exert its action in a concentration-dependent manner. At a concentration of 0.1%, few changes were seen in either mucosal integrity or permeability. At a 1% concentration, however, a significant alteration in the structure of the mucosal tissues as well as a profound increase in the permeability of the mucosa to the PEGs was observed. Correlation of mucosal integrity with the effectiveness of an enhancer indicates that some of these compounds appear to be acting by altering the structure of the mucosa. Others, which appear to exert a less damaging effect on the mucosal cells themselves, achieve their greatest absorption enhancement when changes in cell-to-cell adhesion in the mucosa are observed. These results indicate that the paracellular routes may play an important role in large molecular absorption through the nasal mucosa.