Transdermal delivery of a melanotropic peptide hormone analogue

Brenda V. Dawson, Mac E. Hadley, Kristie Kreutzfeld, Robert T. Dorr, Victor J. Hruby, Fahad Al-Obeidi, Scott Don

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We previously reported that topical application of [Nle4,D-Phe7]alpha-MSH, a superpotent analogue of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone, to mice induces a darkening of follicular melanocytes throughout the skin. We now report that the melanotropin analogue can be delivered across mouse but not rat skin in an in vitro model system. Passage of the analogue from the topically applied vehicle (polyethylene glycol) across the skin into a subcutaneous receiving vessel was demonstrated by both bioassay as well as by radioimmunoassay. The bioassay data demonstrate that percutaneous absorption of the melanotropin did not result in loss of biological activity of the peptide. The differential penetration of the peptide across rodent skin reveals that one cannot predict percutaneous absorption of a substance across the stratum corneum from studies on a single species. The present results are the first to demonstrate, by direct quantitative measurements, that a bioactive peptide can be delivered across the vertebrate integument in vitro. These studies point out the potential of a topically applied melanotropin for tanning of the skin and possibly for treatment of certain hypopigmentary disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1117
Number of pages7
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Transdermal delivery of a melanotropic peptide hormone analogue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this