Diffusion of naltrexone across reconstituted human oral epithelium and histomorphological features

Giuseppina Campisi, Viviana De Caro, Libero Italo Giannola, Ada Maria Florena, Tomasz Ciach, Giulia Giandalia, Maria Gabriella Siragusa

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45 Citations (Scopus)


In transbuccal absorption a major limitation could be the low permeability of the mucosa which implies low drug bioavailability. The ability of naltrexone hydrochloride(NLX)to penetrate a resembling histologically human buccal mucosa was assessed and the occurrence of any histomorphological changes observed. We used reconstituted human oral (RHO) non-keratinised epithelium as mucosal section and a Transwell diffusion cells system as bicompartmental model. Buccal permeation was expressed in terms of drug flux (Js) and permeability coefficients (Kp). Data were collected using both artificial and natural human saliva. The main finding was that RHO does not restrain NLX permeation. Drug transport across the epithelium was observed also in presence of various concentrations of penetration enhancers, without any significant differences. On the contrary, the flux throughout the mucosa was extensively affected by iontophoresis. Histologically, no sign of flogosis was observed in any specimen under experiment without iontophoresis, whereas cytoarchitectural changes, up to nuclear pycnosis or cellular swelling, were determined as a consequence of the application of electric fields.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-246
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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