Transdermal Delivery of Metformin Using Dissolving Microneedles and Iontophoresis Patches for Browning Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue

Mehrnaz Abbasi, Zhaoyang Fan, John A. Dawson, Shu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Obesity is a serious public health problem that is strongly associated with increased multiple comorbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer. While current anti-obesity treatments have various issues, locally transforming energy-storing white adipose tissue (WAT) into energy-burning brown-like/beige adipose tissue, the so-called browning of WAT, has been suggested to enhance obesity treatment efficiency with minimized side effects. Metformin is a first-line antidiabetes drug and a potent activator of AMP-activated protein kinase. Emerging evidence has suggested that metformin might enhance energy expenditure via the browning of WAT and hence reduce body weight. Subcutaneous WAT is easier to access and has a stronger browning potential than other WAT depots. In this study, we used dissolvable poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) microneedles (MN) to deliver metformin to the subcutaneous WAT in obese C57BL/6J mice with the assistance of iontophoresis (INT), and then investigated metformin-induced WAT browning and its subsequent thermogenesis effects. Compared with MN alone or INT alone, MN + INT had better anti-obesity activity, as indicated by decreasing body weight and fat gain, increased energy expenditure, decreased fat pad size, and improved energy metabolism through the browning of WAT. Browning subcutaneous WAT by delivering metformin and other browning agents using this MN + INT approach might combat obesity in an effective, easy, and safe regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number879
JournalPharmaceutics
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • adipose tissue browning
  • iontophoresis
  • metformin
  • microneedle
  • obesity
  • transdermal delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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