Squalene-based nanoparticles for the treatment of uncontrolled inflammatory processes

A group from Galien Institute at Paris-Saclay University (France) and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) have reported on the development of multidrug nanoparticles for the mitigation of uncontrolled inflammatory processes such as those associated with the virally induced hyperinflammation that has recently been linked with severe and fatal cases of SARS-COV-2 infection. The findings were reported in Science Advances, an open access multidisciplinary journal of the AAAS.

The group’s nanoparticles are made by conjugating squalene, an endogenous lipid, to adenosine, an endogenous immunomodulator, and then encapsulating α-tocopherol, a natural antioxidant. This resulted in high drug loading, biocompatible, multidrug nanoparticles. By exploiting the vascular endothelial barrier dysfunction at sites of acute inflammation, these multidrug nanoparticles could deliver the therapeutic agents in a targeted manner and conferred a significant survival advantage to treated animals in lethal models of endotoxemia.

Growing evidence has indicated that uncontrolled pro-inflammatory states are often driven by continuous positive feedback loops between pro-inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress. There are currently no effective ways to counter this crosstalk in a targeted manner.

The group suggested that selectively delivering adenosine and antioxidants together using their nanoparticle technology could serve as a novel approach for the treatment of acute inflammation with reduced-side effects and high therapeutic potential.