Microneedles enhance topical delivery of 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 and reduce nociception in temporomandibular joint of rats

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Abstract

The pain arising from temporomandibular disorders is often treated with opioids and agents that inhibit the immune response and are associated with substantial adverse effects and long-term risks. Thus, the development of new therapies that are safer and more effective is of great interest to patients and clinicians. 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) is naturally produced in the human body and has anti-inflammatory properties. We have previously shown in a rat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) model that injection of 15d-PGJ2 into the rat TMJ can provide antinociceptive relief against a subsequent noxious challenge from formalin injection into the same TMJ. However, intra-TMJ injections are painful. Thus, to make the treatment patient friendly, this study aimed to evaluate whether the antinociceptive property of 15d-PGJ2 cream can be enhanced with microneedles (MNs). We found that topical application of 15d-PGJ2 cream for 15 min directly on the rat TMJ skin did not induce any significant antinociceptive effect. However, if MNs were inserted in the skin for 5 min, removed, and then 15d-PGJ2 cream was applied, a significant reduction in formalin-induced nociceptive behavior was observed. This reduction in nociception was comparable to an intra-TMJ injection of 15d-PGJ2. A concentration-dependent effect of 15d-PGJ2 was observed, with higher concentrations of 15d-PGJ2 in the cream showing a more durable effect up to 8 h. 15d-PGJ2 cream associated with MNs also significantly reduced the release of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1 beta, which are pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our findings suggest that 15d-PGJ2 cream associated with MNs provides antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effect, and can offer a potential patient-friendly therapeutic option for pain control related to inflammatory disorders of the TMJ.

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