Nebulised lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles for the delivery of a therapeutic anti-inflammatory microRNA to bronchial epithelial cells

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Sebastian Vencken, Camilla Foged, Joanne M Ramsey, Louise Sweeney, Sally-Ann Cryan, Ronan J MacLoughlin, Catherine M Greene

Modulation of microRNAs (miRNAs), endogenous regulators of gene expression, is a promising strategy for tackling inflammatory lung diseases. In this proof-of-concept study, we tested delivery of miR-17 to bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) using nebulised lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles (LPNs). The primary aim was to reduce the induced secretion of miR-17's target, i.e. the pro-inflammatory chemokine interleukin (IL)-8. Synthetic miR-17 mimics were loaded into LPNs composed of poly(dl-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and the cationic lipid 1,2-dioleoyloxy-3-(trimethylammonium)propane (DOTAP) using a double emulsion solvent evaporation method and nebulised using the Aerogen Solo nebuliser. The physicochemical, aerosol, inflammatory and cytotoxic properties of LPNs were characterised. The effect of LPNs on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced IL-8 production from human NuLi-1 BECs was tested by ELISA. The z-average, polydispersity index and ζ-potential of the LPNs and the aerodynamic properties of nebulised suspensions were in a range optimal for deposition in the bronchi and bronchioles post-inhalation. Cytotoxic and pro-inflammatory effects were minimal for LPNs loaded with a model cargo. Nebulisation did not affect the physicochemical or functional properties of the LPNs. Nebulised miR-17-loaded LPNs downregulated LPS-induced IL-8 secretion by >40% in BECs. This study suggests that DOTAP-modified PLGA LPNs are efficient and well-tolerated carriers for delivery of miRNA mimics to BECs.

Original languageEnglish
Journal ERJ Open Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

ID: 216345121