Diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (Transcutol®) displays antiproliferative properties alone and in combination with xanthines

Francesca Levi-Schaffer*, Nava Dayan, Elka Touitou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In the present study we have investigated the effects of diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (Transcutol®) in combination with theophylline, caffeine and dyphylline and alone on 3T3 mouse fibroblast proliferation. These three xanthines (1-0.01 mM) inhibited fibroblast proliferation by themselves. Enhancement of the effect was detected by addition of 1 and 0.1 mM Transcutol. Transcutol alone also displayed a dose-dependent inhibition (2-0.01 mM) of both 3T3 and human normal and psoriatic fibroblasts, although normal human fibroblasts were the least sensitive to Transcutol antiproliferative activity. Transcutol was assessed for its antiproliferative effects on YAC lymphoma and P-815 mastocytoma human cell lines. Transcutol inhibited cell proliferation of both these cell lines, being more effective towards P-815 mastocytoma (at 2 mM it displayed 3.95-fold vs. 2.4-fold inhibition towards YAC lymphoma). In conclusion, we have shown that Transcutol has antiproliferative effects on 3T3 murine, human normal and psoriatic fibroblasts and tumour cell lines. In addition it enhances xanthine antiproliferative effects on 3T3 fibroblasts. Therefore it might be a useful topical drug alone or in combination with xanthines in the treatment of skin hyperproliferaive disorders.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalSkin Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Diethylene glycol monoethyl ether
  • Transcutol
  • Xanthines


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