Carbon disulfide (CS2) has been suggested its possible skin toxicity. Neither a dose-response relationship nor any mechanism of CS 2-exposure regarding epidermal permeability alterations has been postulated. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the dose-dependent association and the pathological changes with CS2 topically applied to mouse epidermis. Four concentrations of CS2 (0% (controls), 10%, 15%, and 20% in ethanol) were topically applied to a 1.8 cm2 area of the lateral abdomen of female nude mice for 10 min. Time-series transepidermal water loss (TEWL) profile, morphological examinations by both light microscopy (hematoxylin/eosin stain and Nile Red stain) and electronic microscopy, and lipid analysis by high performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) were used to evaluate the epidermal impairment. We found no recovery occurred within 72 h exposure to 20% CS2 in contrast to substantial recovery found in 10% and 15% CS2-exposure. Clear dose-dependent fashions were shown in TEWL elevations, recovery retardation, and lipid extraction across the ethanol (control), 10%, 15%, and 20% CS2 exposures. Two mechanistic pathways were raised to account for CS2-induced epidermal alterations: intercellular lipid depletion and keratinocyte damage. A study with different test animal species is warranted owing to the discrepancies in epidermis between nude mice and other species.
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