Modified Gold Nanocages Alleviate Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Modified Gold Nanocages Alleviate Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Researchers from Henan University of Technology developed hyaluronic acid and peptide- modified gold nanocages to investigate their potential for combating inflammation

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects several joints, including those in the hands and feet. This autoimmune disease can also lead to organ failure and death. The pathogenesis of the disease is not totally understood. However, multiple inflamed joints are major symptoms of the disease. Suppression of inflammation may stop the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Now, a team of researchers from School of International Education, Henan University of Technology used gold nanocages (AuNCs) to load 2-[(aminocarbonyl)amino]-5-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-thiophenecarboxamide (TPCA-1) to combat inflammation.

The team later modified drug-loaded AuNCs with a positively charged peptide and hyaluronic acid as these peptides can combine with negatively charged AuNCs to enhance the loading capacity of TPCA-1 to AuNCs. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play major role in pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, gold nanoparticles can decrease the production of ROS. Hyaluronic acid acts as a targeting moiety and an enzyme-responsive gatekeeper for TPCA-1 release. A contact is made with hyaluronidase when hyaluronic acid -AuNCs/T/P meet an inflammatory microenvironment or lysosome, which causes degradation of hyaluronic acid and the release of TPCA-1.

The team also quantified ROS in cells treated by AuNCs and hyaluronic acid-AuNCs/P to demonstrate the potential of AuNCs for rheumatoid arthritis therapy. The team found that hyaluronic acid-AuNCs/P can decrease the production of ROS in inflammatory cells. However, presence of silver on the inner cavity of AuNCs can generate ROS through the oxidation of metallic silver in the cells. The team concluded that hyaluronic acid-AuNCs/T/P can be used as efficient anti-inflammatory agent. The team also stressed on further research to assess the mechanisms of anti-inflammatory activity and in vivo anti-rheumatoid arthritis efficacy. The research was published in the journal MDPI Pharmaceuticals on March 25, 2019.