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J Pharm Sci. 2013 Mar;102(3):1063-75. doi: 10.1002/jps.23446. Epub 2013 Jan 9.

Antidermatitic perspective of hydrocortisone as chitosan nanocarriers: an ex vivo and in vivo assessment using an NC/Nga mouse model.

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Center for Drug Delivery Research, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia.


The aim of this study to administer hydrocortisone (HC) percutaneously in the form of polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) to alleviate its transcutaneous absorption, and to derive additional wound-healing benefits of chitosan. HC-loaded NPs had varied particle sizes, zeta potentials, and entrapment efficiencies, when drug-to-polymer mass ratios increased from 1:1 to 1:8. Ex vivo permeation analysis showed that the nanoparticulate formulation of HC significantly reduced corresponding flux [∼24 µg/(cm(2) h)] and permeation coefficient (∼4.8 × 10(-3) cm/h) of HC across the full thickness NC/Nga mouse skin. The nanoparticulate formulation also exhibited a higher epidermal (1610 ± 42 µg/g of skin) and dermal (910 ± 46 µg/g of skin) accumulation of HC than those associated with control groups. An in vivo assessment using an NC/Nga mouse model further revealed that mice treated with the nanoparticulate system efficiently controlled transepidermal water loss [15 ± 2 g/(m(2) h)], erythema intensity (232 ± 12), dermatitis index (mild), and thickness of skin (456 ± 27 µm). Taken together, histopathological examination predicted that the nanoparticulate system showed a proficient anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic activity against atopic dermatitic (AD) lesions. Our results strongly suggest that HC-loaded NPs have promising potential for topical/transdermal delivery of glucocorticoids in the treatment of AD.


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