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Baicalin and berberine ultradeformable vesicles as potential adjuvant in vitiligo therapy

Mir-Palomo, Silvia, Nácher, Amparo, Ofelia Vila Busó, M.A., Caddeo, Carla, Manca, Maria Letizia, Manconi, Maria, Díez-Sales, Octavio
Colloids and surfaces 2019 v.175 pp. 654-662
adjuvants, antioxidants, baicalin, berberine, colloids, enzyme activity, fibroblasts, keratinocytes, melanin, melanocytes, permeability, polyphenols, therapeutics
0.5–1% of the world’s population is affected by vitiligo, a disease characterized by a gradual depigmentation of the skin. Baicalin and berberine are natural compounds with beneficial activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and proliferative effects. These polyphenols could be useful for the treatment of vitiligo symptoms, and their efficacy can be improved by loading in suitable carriers. The aim of this work was to formulate and characterize baicalin or berberine loaded ultradeformable vesicles, and demonstrate their potential as adjuvants in the treatment of vitiligo. The vesicles were produced using a previously reported simple, scalable method. Their morphology, size distribution, surface charge and entrapment efficiency were assessed. The ability of the vesicles to promote the permeation of the polyphenols was evaluated. The antioxidant and photoprotective effects were investigated in vitro using keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Further, the stimulation of melanin production and tyrosinase activity in melanocytes after treatment with the vesicles were assessed. Ultradeformable vesicles were small in size, homogeneously dispersed, and negatively charged. They were able to incorporate high amounts of baicalin and berberine, and promote their skin permeation. In fact, the polyphenols concentration in the epidermis was higher than 10%, which could be indicative of the formation of a depot in the epidermis. The vesicles showed remarkable antioxidant and photoprotective capabilities, presumably correlated with the stimulation of melanin production and tyrosinase activity. In conclusion, baicalin or berberine ultradeformable vesicles, and particularly their combination, may represent promising nanosystem-based adjuvants for the treatment of vitiligo symptoms.