Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract The fibrous tissue compartments that develop in response to the subcutaneous implantation of bioerodible heat-fused rods of norethindrone and cholesterol (85 and 15%, respectively) were studied by light and electron microscopy at various intervals after implantation to determine whether the biological inflammatory response may play a role in drug absorption. Thirty-five regularly menstruating, sterilized (tubal ligation), healthy females each received four Annuelle rods. The microanatomy of seven of the largest implants (135 mg norethindrone) was studied. A dense fibrous biological compartment was found to surround each rod. By light microscopy no abnormal tissue response was revealed. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy showed that the surfaces of the rods were covered by a cellular matrix of mononuclear cells. The fibrous compartment was composed of a loose cellular bed immediately surrounding the norethindrone rod, a dense fibrous connective tissue envelope containing blood and lymphatic vessels, and an outer fatty connective tissue layer. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed that the cellular tissue immediately surrounding the rods was composed mainly of lipid laden macrophages. Norethindrone levels in tissue capsules at 3 and 10.5 months were 0.05 and 8.4% by weight, respectively. These observations suggest that the local imflammatory response plays a role in the active processing of this delivery system. This picture is qualitatively different from the general view of the fibrous capsule as a simple rate limiting membrane. The effects observed in this study suggest that a more complex, functional biological system develops in response to the subcutaneous introduction of a drug delivery device.
Type of Medium: