Interaction of 1-dodecylazacycloheptan-2-one (Azone) with erythrocyte membrane

Takashi Katsu, Masakazu Kuroko, Kozo Sanchika, Takayo Morikawa, Yuji Kurosaki, Taiji Nakayama, Toshikiro Kimura, Yuzaburo Fujita

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The action of 1-dodecylazacycloheptan-2-one (Azone) known as a skin permeation enhancer and its methyl analogue (1-methyl- azacycloheptan-2-one) on erythrocyte membrane was studied. Azone caused hemolysis, but the methyl analogue did not. Azone afforded dose-dependently a large membrane lesion in erythrocytes. The release of membrane fragments containing phospholipids was also detected under the conditions of the lesion. Azone had an ability to penetrate into a liposomal membrane composed of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, but the methyl analogue did not. Thus, the following mechanism was proposed to explain the permeability-increasing action of Azone. The agent entered into erythrocyte membrane and made the membrane structure unstable, resulting in both the release of membrane fragments outside cells and the enhancement of permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 1989


  • 1-Dodecylazacycloheptan-2-one (Azone)
  • Hemolysis
  • Lipid bilayer
  • Membrane fluidity
  • Membrane permeability
  • Penetration enhancer
  • Phospholipid release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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