Janna Frombach, Silke B. Lohan, Davina Lemm, Paul Gruner, Julia Hasler, Sebastian Ahlberg, Ulrike Blume-Peytavi, Michael Unbehauen, Rainer Haag, Martina C. Meinke, Annika Vogt
May 23, 2018
Background: Refined encapsulation approaches in dermatotherapy gain increased interest. There is need of reproducible in vitro systems representing disease features to screen drug delivery systems for preclinical assessment. Inflammatory human skin diseases are commonly accompanied by abnormal epidermal differentiation and barrier impairment. Serine proteases (SPs) and their inhibitors play a critical role in such dysfunctional differentiation. SPs also initiate cellular pathways via activation of protease-activated receptors, which contribute to inflammation. Thus, function and activity of SPs should be considered for the design of new therapies of such disorders. Objectives: Herein, we established a novel simplified cell culture model, based on SP-mediated inflammation suitable to assess nanocarriers loaded with anti-inflammatory drugs. Methods: SP-mediated inflammation and the regulatory effect of free or encapsulated dexamethasone were determined by measuring interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 in culture medium of HaCaT (human adult low calcium temperature)-keratinocytes. Additionally, radical formation was analyzed by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Cellular uptake of core-multishell nanocarriers was investigated by fluorescence microscopy. Cytotoxicity of all additives was determined by a viability assay. Results: SP-Stimulation of keratinocytes resulted in increased radical production and release of inflammatory cytokines without affecting cell viability. Induced inflammation was successfully downregulated by addition of free or encapsulated dexamethasone. Conclusion: SP-addition can be used as inflammatory stimulus in cell culture to mimic effects of aberrant enzymatic activities found in skin of atopic dermatitis patients. The set-up is appropriate as a preliminary test to examine the effectiveness of new molecules or delivery-systems to counteract serine protease-mediated inflammatory processes prior to skin studies.