Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder presenting the excessive expression of interleukin (IL)-6. The topical use of small interfering RNA (siRNA) has been increasingly discovered for treating skin diseases. A delivery system capable of protecting siRNA while facilitating both skin targeting and cellular entrance is critical for the successful medication of topically-applied siRNA. Herein, we developed a delivery system for siRNA based on poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles and combined this system with an ablative laser to promote skin absorption for topical psoriasis therapy. The siRNA absorption enhancement was compared by two laser modalities: a fractional CO2 laser and a fully-ablative Er:YAG laser. We characterized the effect of the delivery system by the cellular uptake, IL-6 silencing, in vitro skin absorption, cutaneous biodistribution, and in vivo psoriasiform dermatitis in mice. The nanocarriers showed minimal cytotoxicity and facile cellular uptake to knock down the IL-6 expression. The nanoformulation containing a cationic surfactant (Forestall) for ion pairing with siRNA achieved a 66% and 77% IL-6 knockdown efficiency toward keratinocytes and macrophages, respectively. In the Franz cell absorption, the lasers increased the naked siRNA penetration to the receptor compartment by 3.7–5.0-fold but remarkably reduced skin deposition using imiquimod (IMQ)-treated psoriasiform skin as the barrier. The fractional laser facilitated nanoparticle-associated siRNA skin deposition up to 3.3-fold, whereas the transport of the nanocarriers to the receptor was negligible. Qualitatively, the lasers increased nanoparticle delivery in the epidermis with limited effect to elevate the penetration depth. The fractional-mediated nanocarrier delivery dramatically attenuated the erythema and scaly lesions of psoriasiform dermatitis. The histological examination displayed a reduction of epidermal hyperplasia and macrophage infiltration by the combination of laser and nanosystem. The passive and laser-assisted naked siRNA delivery was less effective in mitigating dermatitis. The topical delivery of fractional laser-assisted nanoparticles on mice resulted in a 56% IL-6 knockdown. Our results manifested the benefit of cutaneous siRNA targeting using ablative lasers to deliver nanocarriers for treating psoriatic inflammation.
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