Oral antimicrobial peptide-EGCG nanomedicines for synergistic treatment of ulcerative colitis.
Liu S., Cao Y., Ma L., Sun J., Ramos-Mucci L., Ma Y., Yang X., Zhu Z., Zhang J., Xiao B.
The pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis (UC) is associated with severe inflammation, damaged colonic barriers, increased oxidative stress, and intestinal dysbiosis. The majority of current medications strive to alleviate inflammation but fail to target additional disease pathologies. Addressing multiple symptoms using a single 'magic bullet' remains a challenge. To overcome this, a smart epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)-loaded silk fibroin-based nanoparticle (NP) with the surface functionalization of antimicrobial peptides (Cathelicidin-BF, CBF) was constructed, which were internalized by Colon-26 cells and RAW 264.7 macrophages with high efficiencies. These CBF-EGCG-NPs efficiently restored colonic epithelial barriers by relieving oxidative stress and promoting epithelium migration. They also alleviated immune responses through the downregulation of pro-inflammatory factors, upregulation of anti-inflammatory factors, M2 macrophage polarization, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) elimination. Interestingly, oral administration of hydrogel (chitosan/alginate)-embedding CBF-EGCG-NPs could not only retard progression and treat UC, but also modulate intestinal microbiota by increasing their overall diversity and richness and augmenting the abundance of beneficial bacteria (e.g., Firmicutes and Lactobacillaceae). Our work provides a "many birds with one stone" strategy for addressing UC symptoms using a single NP-based oral platform that targets immune microenvironment modulation, LPS clearance, and microbial remodeling.