Targeted Reinforcement of Macrophage Reprogramming Toward M2 Polarization by IL-4-Loaded Hyaluronic Acid Particles

Mohammad-Ali Shahbazi, Mahsa Sedighi, Tomás Bauleth-Ramos, Krishna Kant, Alexandra Correia, Narges Poursina, Bruno Sarmento, Jouni Hirvonen, Hélder A. Santos*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Alteration of macrophage polarization from inflammatory (M1) to anti-inflammatory (M2) phenotype can have striking implications for the regeneration of injured tissues, treatment of inflammatory diseases, and relief of autoimmune disorders. Although certain cytokines like interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 are capable of inducing M2 macrophage polarization, their therapeutic potential in vivo is suffering from low efficacy due to their instability and poor access to target cells. Here, we report the synthesis of IL-4-loaded hyaluronic acid (HA) particle for the targeted delivery of cytokines through the high affinity of HA to CD44 receptors of macrophages. HA carriers composed of low, middle, and high molecular weight (MW) polymers were synthesized using divinyl sulfone (DVS) cross-linking. The MW of HA had a negligible effect on the physicochemical properties and biocompatibility of the macrophages, but as an indicative of M2 polarization, a significant change in the arginase-1 (Arg-1) activity, TNF-α release, and IL-10 secretion was observed for the HA particles prepared with high MW polymers. Therefore, these particles were loaded with IL-4 for simultaneous macrophage targeting and M1 to M2 reprogramming, evidenced by a remarkable increase in the Arg-1 to iNOS ratio, as well as CD163 and CD206 upregulation in the M1 macrophages, which were initially triggered by lipopolysaccharide and interferon-γ.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalACS Omega
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)18444-18455
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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