Oxidation of protein cysteine residues by disulfide bond formation with glutathione (GSH) is a reversible posttranslational modification following oxidative stress. Although S-glutathionylation seems to play a key role in cellular regulation and protect protein thiols from hyperoxidation, the molecular mechanism that mediates the glutathionyl protein is still unclear. We investigated the effect of disrupting GSH homeostasis on the S-glutathionylation of proteins via exposure to tert-butyl hydroperoxide (BHP) to study the formation of glutathionyl protein in human red blood cells (RBCs). Two independent treatments aimed at disrupting GSH homeostasis were devised to examine the influences of S-glutathionylation on RBC proteins. Glutathionyl proteins were detected transiently in intact RBCs during BHP exposure. Although glutathionyl proteins (220—240 kDa) disappeared immediately in the presence of glucose, they remained for a long time after BHP exposure in RBCs when the GSH-dependent system was disrupted. Furthermore, we identified that the high molecular weight glutathionyl protein is erythroid spectrin using immunodetection. Thus, it was indicated that the protein-bound GSH produced by peroxide exposure is immediately released by the GSH-dependent system in normal RBCs. However, disruption of GSH homeostasis causes accumulation of the glutathionyl protein. We propose that S-glutathionyl spectrin may be a useful biomarker for dysfunctions in GSH homeostasis and oxidative stress in human RBCs.
The stimulatory and inhibitory effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and its related two compounds (luteolin and quercetin) on the phosphorylation of four proteins [bovine myelin basic protein (bMBP), human recombinant tau protein (hrTP), human recombinant vimentin (hrVM) and rat collapsin response mediator protein-2 (rCRMP-2)] by glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) were comparatively determined in vitro. We found that (i) EGCG, not quercetin and luteolin, highly stimulated the GSK-3β-mediated phosphorylation of hrTP and significantly stimulated the phosphorylation of bMBP and hrVM by the kinase; (ii) these three polyphenols inhibited dose-dependently the phosphorylation of rCRMP-2 by GSK-3β; (iii) only EGCG significantly enhanced autophosphorylation of GSK-3β; and (iv) EGCG had a binding-affinity with two basic proteins (bMBP and hrTP) and a low affinity with rCRMP-2 rather than hrVM in vitro. In addition, the binding of EGCG to these two basic proteins induced to highly stimulate their phosphorylation, including novel potent sites for GSK-3β, and to significantly reduce the Km value and increase the Vmax value of these two substrate proteins for the kinase in vitro. These results provided here suggest that EGCG acts as an effective stimulator for the GSK-3β-mediated phosphorylation of its binding proteins containing EGCG-inducible phosphorylation sites for the kinase in vitro.
β-Citryl-L-glutamate (β-CG) is a unique compound initially isolated from developing brains, which also appears in high concentrations during the period characterized by growth and differentiation of neurons in developing animals, and then decreases with maturation. However, its functional roles remain unclear. The stability constant obtained in our previous pH titration studies showed that β-CG forms relatively strong complexes with copper. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) have been suggested to act as mediators of the cell death that occurs in neurons during development of the nervous system. However, regulation of ROS and NO formation by Cu in the developing brain remains poorly understood. The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a key superoxide scavenging enzyme, is low in the developing brain. Furthermore, xanthine oxidase (XO) has been implicated in diverse pathological situations due to its capability of generating both ROS and NO. Therefore, we examined the effects of β-CG and its Cu-complex on SOD and XO activities. We found that the [Cu(II)(β-CG)] complex had SOD activity and a strong competitive inhibition of XO, while reduced glutathione caused concentration-dependent decreases of the XO inhibitory activities in the [Cu(II)(β-CG)] complex.
This study was conducted to demonstrate the inhibitory effect of saucerneol G (SG), a new lignan, isolated from the aerial part of Saururus chinensis (Saururaceae) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP)-9 inductions in RAW 264.7 cells. Aimed at evaluating the mechanism of action by which SG inhibits the LPS-mediated induction of MMP-9, the effects of SG on nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) DNA binding activity, NF-κB-dependent reporter gene activity, inhibitory factor-κB (IκB) phosphorylation, degradation and p65 nuclear translocation were assessed. SG profoundly suppressed the DNA binding activity and the reporter gene activity as well as translocation of NF-κB p65 subunit. Furthermore, SG also dose dependently inhibited LPS-stimulated activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). These findings suggest that SG may inhibit LPS-stimulated MMP-9 induction by blocking NF-κB and MAPKs activation.
Cremophor EL (CrEL) is a non-ionic surfactant widely used as a vehicle for insoluble drugs, including immunosuppressive and anticancer agents. Although CrEL has often been reported to induce sensory neuropathies, its action on voltage-gated ion channels remains unknown. We show here that CrEL modulates voltage-gated sodium current (INa) and potassium current (IK) of human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y). First, CrEL suppressed the amplitude of INa and that of IK. The suppression–concentration curve for INa was gradual but that for IK was steeper, indicating that INa remains incompletely blocked by high concentrations of CrEL, which greatly reduce IK. Thus, it is possible that CrEL paradoxically increases neuronal excitability at higher concentrations. Next, CrEL accelerated IK's inactivation process. The voltage-dependent inactivation of IK showed two time constants, τf of 322±49 ms and τs of 2925±184 ms, under the control condition. By applying 1000 ppm CrEL, three time constants—τu of 23±2 ms, τf of 196±19 ms, and τs of 1396±127 ms—appeared in the inactivation process. This modified inactivation of IK probably disturbs the repolarizing phases of action potentials. These modulations of voltage-gated ion channels by CrEL may cause abnormal excitability involved in neuropathies.
N-Myristoyltransferase (NMT) isozymes, i.e., NMT1 and NMT2, are essential host factors for the AIDS-causing human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), by which the viral proteins Pr55gag and Nef are N-myristoylated. N-Myristoylation is important for the membrane targeting of modified proteins. Since it is predicted that approximately 0.5% of all proteins in the human genome are N-myristoylated, selective inhibition of closely HIV-1-associated NMT isozymes is thought to be important for the improvement of specificity in the anti-HIV-1 strategy with the inhibition of NMT function. NMT isozymes contain two characteristic structures, the N-terminal region and the catalytic region. Here, it was shown that the N-terminal region of each NMT isozyme is required for isozyme-specific binding to the ribosome. The specific binding of each isozyme to the ribosome was associated with HIV-1 production, in which NMT1 and NMT2 in the ribosome were suggested to be mainly related to Pr55gag and Nef, respectively. These results indicate that the N-terminal region that mediates binding to the ribosome can become a target for NMT-isozyme-specific inhibition, which could block HIV-1 production.
In most experimental model of asthma using guinea pigs, the animals are made to inhale an aerosolized antigen which passes through the nasal cavity. In the present study, we attempted to create an animal model of asthma showing a biphasic asthmatic response and airway hyperresponsiveness, in which the allergic responses are restricted to the lung. Guinea pigs were sensitized by the intratracheal instillation of ovalbumin (OVA)+Al(OH)3 once a day for 7 d, and then intratracheally challenged with OVA 12 d after the last sensitization. The change in specific airway resistance (sRaw) and airway responsiveness to histamine were measured. Pranlukast (100 mg/kg), theophylline (50 mg/kg), and dexamethasone (10 mg/kg) were orally administered 18 and 2 h before the antigen challenge. The challenge caused a marked biphasic elevation of sRaw with peaks at 5 min and 4 h. At 24 h, airway hyperresponsiveness to histamine was observed. Pranlukast, theophylline, and dexamethasone suppressed the late asthmatic response and airway hyperresponsiveness. The early asthmatic response was inhibited by theophylline and dexamethasone. In conclusion, the intratracheal sensitization and challenge caused a biphasic asthmatic response and airway hyperresponsiveness in guinea pigs. This model may be useful for the evaluation of anti-asthma drugs.
The present study has been designed to investigate the potential role of ubiquitin proteasome system and other proteases in acute as well as delayed aspects of ischemic preconditioning induced reversal of ischemia-reperfusion injury in mouse brain. Bilateral carotid artery occlusion of 17 min followed by reperfusion for 24 h was employed in present study to produce ischemia and reperfusion induced cerebral injury in mice. Cerebral infarct size was measured using triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Memory was evaluated using elevated plus-maze test. Rota rod test was employed to assess motor incoordination. Bilateral carotid artery occlusion followed by reperfusion produced cerebral infarction and impaired memory and motor co-ordination. Three preceding episodes of bilateral carotid artery occlusion for 1 min and reperfusion of 1 min (ischemic preconditioning) both immediately before (for acute preconditioning) and 24 h before (for delayed preconditioning) global cerebral ischemia prevented markedly ischemia-reperfusion-induced cerebral injury as measured in terms of infarct size, loss of memory and motor coordination. Z-Leu-Leu-Phe-Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) (2 mg/kg, intraperitoneally (i.p.)), an inhibitor of ubiquitin proteasome system and other proteases attenuated the neuroprotective effect of both the acute as well as delayed ischemic preconditioning. It is concluded that the neuroprotective effect of both the acute as well as delayed phases of ischemic preconditioning may be due to the activation of ubiquitin proteasome system and other proteases.
Ischemic brain is particularly susceptible to free radicals mediated secondary neuronal damage, especially mitochondrial dysfunctions. Chinese Herbal Medicine with antioxidant properties is believed to have potential therapeutic effect. Leonurine, an alkaloid present in Herba Leonuri (HL), has shown biological effects such as antioxidant, anticoagulant, anti-apoptosis and protection against ischemic heart disease. In this study, neuroprotective effects of leonurine against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion-induced mitochondrial dysfunctions in cortex were evaluated. We used transient rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model of brain ischemia. The rats were treated with their respective treatments for 1 week prior to the MCAO. We found that leonurine significantly improved neurological outcome and reduced ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced cerebral infarction 24 h after MCAO. Leonurine decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) level in mitochondria isolated from ischemic cortex, which was increased by MCAO. Terminal deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP) Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) staining showed anti-apoptotic effect of leonurine on ischemic cortex. Western blot analysis showed a marked decrease in the expression of Bax and an increase of Bcl-2 as a result of leonurine treatment. The attenuation of mitochondrial membrane swelling, restore of mitochondrial membrane potential and content of cytochrome c (Cyt-C) in mitochondria isolated from ischemic cortex could also be observed in leonurine treated group. The findings of this study suggest that leonurine has promising therapeutic effect for ischemic stroke treatment through antioxidant and anti-apoptotic mechanisms.
Enhanced expression of renal aquaporin-2 (AQP2) has been reported when polyuria occurs in diabetic animal models. The purpose of this study was to clarify the possibility that increased AQP2 expression in the kidneys play a role as a compensatory mechanism to alleviate diabetic dehydration. Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3), which decreases the renal expression of AQPs, was administered to streptozotocin (STZ)-induced model mice of type I diabetes mellitus (STZ mice), to investigate the relationship between urine volume and renal AQP expression. Plasma glucose and urine glucose levels were similar between STZ mice given feed containing Li2CO3 for 10 d and un-treated STZ mice. Urine volume increased to 70 ml/d for the Li2CO3-treated STZ mice, compared to 36 ml/d for un-treated STZ mice. No changes were observed in creatinine clearance or the mRNA expression levels of sodium myo-inositol transporter and taurine transporter, which are genes associated with the regulation of osmotic pressure in the kidney, in the Li2CO3-treated STZ mice relative to un-treated STZ mice. Protein expression levels of AQP2 and aquaporin-3 (AQP3) of the renal inner medulla were significantly decreased in the Li2CO3-treated STZ mice, compared to levels in the STZ group. This study revealed that the decreased expression levels of AQP2 and AQP3 in the kidney increased the urine volume in mice without a change in urinary osmotic pressure. The results of this study suggest that the increased renal AQP2 and AQP3 expression, in the setting of polyuria, physiologically serves as a compensatory mechanism to alleviate dehydration in diabetes mellitus.
Cardiac structural and functional abnormalities are observed in metabolic syndrome. However, such changes have not been investigated in the SHRSP.Z-Leprfa/IzmDmcr rat (SHRSP-fatty) model of metabolic syndrome. Here we compare cardiac size and hemodynamic function in these rats with their lean littermates (SHRSP) and normotensive control Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY). In male 16-week-old SHRSP-fatty, we determined heart rate and systolic blood pressure (SBP) by tail-cuff, cardiac output (CO), subcutaneous peripheral blood flow (BF) and stroke volume (SV) by plethysmography, and systolic and diastolic functions by echocardiography. We also assessed weight and collagen type I expression by Western blot in isolated atrium and ventricle, and beat rate in isolated atrial preparation by myography. Heart rate was lower in conscious SHRSP-fatty than SHRSP, and the beat rate of isolated atria was lower in SHRSP-fatty and SHRSP than that of WKY. Atrial weight was larger in SHRSP-fatty than others. Ventricular weight of SHRSP-fatty and SHRSP was larger than WKY. There were significant inverse correlations between atrial weight and heart rate or beat rate in SHRSP-fatty. SBP, CO, BF and SV were increased in SHRSP-fatty similarly to SHRSP. Increased deceleration time and decreased E/A ratio, and preserved fractional shortening were observed in SHRSP-fatty. Expressions of collagen type I were increased in atria and ventricle of SHRSP-fatty. SHRSP-fatty with metabolic syndrome exhibit cardiac changes, including slowed heart rate, ventricular diastolic dysfunction, and fibrosis, and atrial enlargement. SHRSP-fatty may be a useful rat model to study on cardiac abnormalities in metabolic syndrome.
The 5-HT6 receptor (5-HT6R) is a member of the class of recently discovered 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors. Due to the lack of selective 5-HT6R ligands, the cellular signaling mechanisms of the 5-HT6R are poorly understood. We previously developed a cell-based high-throughput screening (HTS) method for the 5-HT6R and screened synthetic chemical compounds. In the present study, we expanded our screening into natural products to find novel 5-HT6R ligands. We found that the ethyl acetate fraction from the root of Caragana sinica (537-18BE) produced the most potent antagonistic activity. After further isolation of 537-18BE, we found that three stilbene derivatives, (+)-α-viniferin, miyabenol C and pallidol, are active constituents of 537-18BE inhibiting the 5-HT6R. Among them, (+)-α-viniferin showed the most potent inhibition, and miyabenol C also produced a considerable inhibition. When examined effects on other neurotransmitters for selectivity, 537-18BE and three stilbene derivatives did not produce any notable effects on 5-HT4, 5-HT7, or muscarinic acetylcholine M1 (M1) receptors. Furthermore, 5-HT6R antagonistic effects of (+)-α-viniferin, miyabenol C and pallidol were confirmed on extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) which exerts effects in downstream pathways of 5-HT6R activation.
We recently reported that some dibenzoylmethane (DBM) derivatives have a protective effect against endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inhibit nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of DBM derivatives against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. The DBM derivatives used in this study were 4,4′-dibromodibenzoylmethane that protects against ER stress, and, 4,4′-dichlorodibenzoylmethane that protects against ER stress and inhibits NF-κB. In each group, the presence of faecal occult blood, the disease activity index score (DAI score) and intestinal length were examined. Both of the DBM derivatives with protective effects against ER stress significantly improved occult bleeding of the colitis induced by DSS. The 4,4′-dichlorodibenzoylmethane significantly reduced the DAI score and inhibited the shortening of colon length, but the 4,4′-dibromodibenzoylmethane did not. These findings suggest that both the protective effect against ER stress and inhibitory effect on NF-κB are needed in the treatment of DSS-induced colitis. Therefore, the effect of 4,4′-dichlorodibenzoylmethane maybe beneficial in the therapeutic regulation of ulcerative colitis.
The receptor type mediating the positive inotropic effect of histamine was examined in left atria from neonatal guinea pigs. The positive inotropic effect of histamine, as well as its action potential prolonging effect, was antagonized by ranitidine, but not by chlorpheniramine or thiperamide. The positive inotropic effect was enhanced by isobutylmethylxantine. Receptor binding studies revealed the presence of both H1 and H2 receptor types. These results suggest that the positive inotropic effect of histamine in the neonatal guinea-pig atrium is mediated by H2 receptors.
Pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interactions between herbal medicines or food constituents and drugs have been studied as crucial factors determining therapeutic efficacy and outcome. Most of these interactions are attributed to inhibition or induction of activity of cytochrome P450 (CYP) metabolic enzymes. Inhibition or induction of CYP enzymes by beverages, including grapefruit, pomegranate, or cranberry juice, has been well documented. Because spices are a common daily dietary component, other studies have reported inhibition of CYP activity by spices or their constituents/derivatives. However, a systematic evaluation of various spices has not been performed. In this study, we investigated effects of 55 spices on CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 activity. Cinnamon, black or white pepper, ginger, mace, and nutmeg significantly inhibited CYP3A4 or CYP2C9 activity. Furthermore, bioassay-guided fractionation of mace (Myristica fragrans) led to isolation and structural characterization of a new furan derivative (1) along with other 16 known compounds, including an acylphenol, neolignans, and phenylpropanoids. Among these isolates, (1S,2R)-1-acetoxy-2-(4-allyl-2,6-dimethoxyphenoxy)-1-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)propane (9) exhibited the most potent CYP2C9 inhibitory activity with an IC50 value comparable to that of sulfaphenazole, a CYP2C9 inhibitor. Compound 9 competitively inhibited CYP2C9-mediated 4′-hydroxylation of diclofenac. The inhibitory constant (Ki) of 9 was determined to be 0.037 μM. Compound 9 was found to be 14-fold more potent than was sulfaphenazole.
The effect of environmental temperature on the penetration from matrix-type transdermal patch of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as model drugs was investigated using in vitro and in silico experiment. The patch was applied on the stratum corneum (SC) side of the skin. The dermal side of the skin was mounted on a diffusion cell. The donor compartment of the diffusion cell was filled with distilled water. The donor temperature was set at 2, 25, 37, and 47 °C, respectively. The receptor compartment was kept at 37 °C and filled with phosphate buffer solution during the experiment. The permeation of the drugs from patch increased with increasing the donor temperature. The rate of permeation increased exponentially with increasing skin surface temperature. The diffusion coefficient in the skin remained almost constant, while the skin surface concentration was correlated with the skin surface temperature. The plasma concentrations in human were simulated by SKIN-CAD® together with the in vitro penetration experiment. The plasma concentration quickly changed with varying the environment temperature.
The objective of the present study was to obtain information to develop an effective delivery device regarding a sophisticated hollow microneedle array-patch system. Thus, the potential of hollow microneedles was investigated for enhancing the transdermal delivery of hydrophilic large molecular compounds, and the effect of variable parameters on drug release behavior was determined from skin. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextrans (4.3 kDa), FD-4, was used as the main model compound, and it was successfully loaded into the lower epidermis as well as the superficial dermis of the skin in hairless rats by a hollow microneedle. The higher the volume of FD-4 solution injected, the faster the FD-4 release rate from skin. In addition, release rate tended to increase when FD-4 was administered dividedly by multiple injections. These release profiles of FD-4 were expressed by Fick's law of diffusion. Furthermore, a combination of the formulation strategy and hollow microneedle-assisted delivery was useful for controlling the drug release rate from skin. Release profiles from drug-loaded skin were also compared by changing the molecular weights of model compounds. The larger molecular size of compounds caused a lower release rate from skin. These results suggest the utilization of hollow microneedle to enhance transdermal delivery of large molecular compounds and provide useful information for designing an effective hollow microneedle system.
The effect of high and low molecular weight chitosans (HMC; 1000 kDa, LMC; 30 kDa) on oxidative stress and hypercholesterolemia was investigated using male 6-week-old Wistar Kyoto rats as a normal model (Normal-rats) and spontaneously hypertensive rat/ND mcr-cp (SHP/ND) as a metabolic syndrome model (MS-rats), respectively. In Normal-rats, the ingestion of both chitosans over a 4 week period resulted in a significant decrease in total body weight (BW), glucose (Gl), triglyceride (TG), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and serum creatinine (Cre) levels. The ingestion of both chitosans also resulted in a lowered ratio of oxidized to reduced albumin and an increase in total plasma antioxidant activity. In addition to similar results in Normal-rats, the ingestion of only HMC over a 4 week period resulted in a significant decrease in total cholesterol levels in MS-rats. Further, the ingestion of LMC resulted in a significantly higher antioxidant activity than was observed for HMC in both rat models. In in vitro studies, LMC caused a significantly higher reduction in the levels of two stable radicals, compared to HMC, and the effect was both dose- and time-dependent. The findings also show that LDL showed strong binding in the case of HMC. These results suggest that LMC has a high antioxidant activity as well as antilipidemic effects, while HMC results in a significant reduction in the levels of pro-oxidants such as LDL in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby inhibiting the subsequent development of oxidative stress in the systemic circulation in metabolic model rats.
It is widely accepted that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) require 2 to 4 weeks of administration before improvements in emotional symptoms of depression are seen. We evaluated whether early monitoring of Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD) scores in patients treated with the SSRI fluvoxamine could predict antidepressant response, and also assessed the relationship between the onset of clinical response following the start of fluvoxamine administration and its plasma concentration. Twelve depressed patients (baseline HAMD score ≥15) received an initial dose of fluvoxamine (50 mg/d) followed by an optimized maintenance dose according to their clinical symptoms after 7 d. HAMD scores and plasma drug concentrations were determined at 7 and 28 d after the first administration. There were 7 responders and 5 non-responders on day 28, as evaluated by HAMD scores. The HAMD score for the responders was significantly lower than that for the non-responders on day 7 (mean±S.D., 11.6±6.1 vs. 26.6±6.5, p=0.006). Thus, the reduction in HAMD score on day 7 was clearly divided between responders and non-responders. On day 28, the plasma concentration of fluvoxamine in responders was lower than that in non-responders (14.2±10.5 ng/ml vs. 44.2±28.1 ng/ml, p=0.051). Furthermore, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis conducted on day 28 revealed an upper concentration threshold of 28.2 ng/ml (p=0.042), with none in the responder group above that level. Our results suggest that HAMD score after the first week of treatment with fluvoxamine and the upper threshold of plasma drug concentration could predict whether a patient is a non-responder.
Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) specific for tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) act in the immune surveillance system as major effector cells to eliminate malignant cells. Immunization with TAA-loaded dendritic cells (DCs) has great potential for treating cancer, because DCs are potent antigen-presenting cells capable of inducing antigen-specific CTLs by the primary activation of naive T-lymphocytes. The establishment of a non-cytotoxic and efficient antigen delivery method is required to improve the efficacy of DC-based cancer immunotherapy. We developed biodegradable poly(γ-glutamic acid) nanoparticles (γ-PGA NPs) that can efficiently entrap various proteins as antigen delivery carriers. γ-PGA NPs efficiently delivered entrapped antigenic proteins into DCs without cytotoxicity and presented antigens to DCs via major histocompatibility complex class I and II molecules. Immunization with TAA-loaded DCs using γ-PGA NPs inhibited tumor growth by inducing TAA-specific CTLs. These findings indicate that γ-PGA NPs can function as useful antigen delivery carriers in DC-based cancer immunotherapy.
We examined the effects of ISP-I (myriocin, thermozymocidin)—a potent inhibitor of serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) which is involved in the ceramide synthetic pathway—on skin barrier function in post-UVB-irradiated hairless mouse skin. Disruption of the skin barrier function after UVB irradiation as represented by the increase in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was significantly suppressed with ISP-I treatment. In the ISP-I-treated skin, the peak of cell proliferation was observed 24 h earlier than in vehicle-treated skin. In addition, the number of apoptotic cells in ISP-I-treated skin showed a sharp decrease at 48 and 72 h post-irradiation. The number of stratum corneum cell layers was increased in ISP-I-treated skin at 72 h after UVB irradiation; at this time, TEWL in ISP-I-treated skin was lower than that in the vehicle-treated skin. We suggest ISP-I treatment altered cell proliferation and apoptosis after UVB exposure by modulating ceramide synthesis in epidermal cells, resulting in an increase of stratum corneum layers which lessened the effects of irradiation-induced barrier disruption.