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Combination of hydrotropic nicotinamide with nanoparticles for enhancing tacrolimus percutaneous delivery

Authors Pan W, Qin M, Zhang G, Long Y, Ruan W, Pan J, Wu Z, Wan T, Wu C, Xu Y

Received 15 March 2016

Accepted for publication 25 May 2016

Published 19 August 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 4037—4050

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S108545

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang


Wenhui Pan, Mengyao Qin, Guoguang Zhang, Yueming Long, Wenyi Ruan, Jingtong Pan, Zushuai Wu, Tao Wan, Chuanbin Wu, Yuehong Xu

Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Tacrolimus (FK506), an effective immunosuppressant for treating inflammatory skin diseases, hardly penetrates into and through the skin owing to its high hydrophobicity and molecular weight. The aim of this study was to develop a hybrid system based on nicotinamide (NIC) and nanoparticles (NPs) encapsulating FK506, such as FK506–NPs–NIC, for facilitating percutaneous delivery, which exploited virtues of both NIC and NPs to obtain the synergetic effect. Solubility and percutaneous permeation studies were carried out. The results showed that NIC could increase the solubility and permeability of FK506 and that 20% (w/v) NIC presented higher FK506 permeability and was thus chosen as the hydrotropic solution to solubilize FK506 and prepare FK506–NPs–NIC. Hyaluronic acid (HA) was chemically conjugated with cholesterol (Chol) to obtain amphiphilic conjugate of HA–Chol, which self-assembled NPs in 20% NIC solution containing FK506. The particle size, zeta potential, and morphology of NPs were characterized. The encapsulation efficiency and in vitro percutaneous permeation of NPs were evaluated in the presence and absence of NIC. The results demonstrated that hydrotropic solubilizing FK506 was readily encapsulated into NPs with a higher encapsulation efficiency of 79.2%±4.2%, and the combination of NPs with NIC exhibited a significantly synergistic effect on FK506 deposition within the skin (2.39±0.53 µg/cm2) and penetration through the skin (13.38±2.26 µg/cm2). The effect of the combination of NPs with NIC on drug permeation was further visualized by confocal laser scanning microscope through in vivo permeation studies, and the results confirmed that NPs–NIC synergistically enhanced the permeation of the drug into the skin. The cellular uptake performed in HaCaT cells presented a promoting effect of NPs on cellular uptake. These overall results demonstrated that HA–Chol–NPs–NIC can synergistically improve the percutaneous delivery of FK506, and it is a novel potential strategy based on a nano-sized carrier for FK506 to treat skin diseases.

Keywords: tacrolimus, nicotinamide, hyaluronic acid, nanoparticles, percutaneous delivery

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