Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, noncontiguous, and exudative disorder accompanied by perivascular infiltration of immune mediators, including T-helper (Type 1 helper/Type 2 helper) cells, mast cells, and immunoglobulin E. The current study explores the immunomodulatory and histological effects of nanoparticle (NP)-based transcutaneous delivery of hydrocortisone (HC).
In this study, HC, the least potent topical glucocorticoid, was administered transcutaneously as chitosan NPs. The pharmacological and immunological effects of the NP-based HC delivery on the alleviation of 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene-induced atopic dermatitis (AD)-like skin lesions were evaluated using the NC/Nga mouse model.
In vivo Dino-Lite ® microscopic assessment revealed that the NP-based formulation displayed a remarkable ability to reduce the severity of the pathological features of AD (dermatitis index, 3.0). The AD suppressive activity of the NP-based topical formulation was expected owing to the interruption of a series of immunopathological events, including the production of immunoglobulin E, release of histamine, and expression of prostaglandin-E 2 and vascular endothelial growth factor-α in the sera and skin of the tested animals. Analysis of the cytokine expression in AD-like skin lesions further revealed that the NP-based formulation inhibited the pathological expression of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-13, IL-12p70, interferon-γ, and tumor necrosis factor-α in serum and skin homogenates of NC/Nga mice. Further, our histological findings indicated that the NP-based formulation inhibited fibroblast infiltration and fragmentation of elastic fibers, further supporting the clinical importance of these formulations in maintaining the integrity of elastic connective tissues.