AbstractDendritic hPG-amid-C18-mPEG core-multishell nanocarriers (CMS) represent a novel class of unimolecular micelles that hold great potential as drug transporters, e.g., to facilitate topical therapy in skin diseases. Atopic dermatitis is among the most common inflammatory skin disorders with complex barrier alterations which may affect the efficacy of topical treatment.
Here, we tested the penetration behavior and identified target structures of unloaded CMS after topical administration in healthy mice and in mice with oxazolone-induced atopic dermatitis. We further examined whole body distribution and possible systemic side effects after simulating high dosage dermal penetration by subcutaneous injection.
Following topical administration, CMS accumulated in the stratum corneum without penetration into deeper viable epidermal layers. The same was observed in atopic dermatitis mice, indicating that barrier alterations in atopic dermatitis had no influence on the penetration of CMS. Following subcutaneous injection, CMS were deposited in the regional lymph nodes as well as in liver, spleen, lung, and kidney. However, in vitro toxicity tests, clinical data, and morphometry-assisted histopathological analyses yielded no evidence of any toxic or otherwise adverse local or systemic effects of CMS, nor did they affect the severity or course of atopic dermatitis.
Taken together, CMS accumulate in the stratum corneum in both healthy and inflammatory skin and appear to be highly biocompatible in the mouse even under conditions of atopic dermatitis and thus could potentially serve to create a depot for anti-inflammatory drugs in the skin.