Inflammatory activation of macrophages is a key factor in chronic inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis. The excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS)/reactive nitrogen species (RNS) by macrophages causes oxidative stress during the inflammatory response and exaggerates inflammatory lesions in ulcerative colitis. Inhibition of the inflammatory activation of macrophages is a promising treatment for chronic inflammatory diseases. Here, we prepared self-filling polymer-lipid hybrid nanoparticles (PST-PLNPs) consisting of poly dl-lactic acid as a hydrophobic biodegradable polymer core encapsulating α-tocopherol (T) and phosphatidylserine (PS) both on the surface and interior of the particle. We confirmed the anti-inflammatory response of these hybrid nanoparticles in activated murine macrophages. PS has anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages by modulating the macrophage phenotype, while α-tocopherol is an antioxidant that neutralizes ROS. We found that PS-containing (PS-PLNPs) and PS plus α-tocopherol-containing (PST-PLNPs) polymer-lipid hybrid nanoparticles significantly increased the viability of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated macrophages compared with phosphatidylcholine-containing PLNPs. PST-PLNPs had a better effect than PS-PLNPs, which was attributed to the synergy between PS and α-tocopherol. This synergic action of PST-PLNPs reduced NO and pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-6) production and increased anti-inflammatory cytokine (TGF-β1) production when incubated with activated macrophages. Thus, these self-filling biodegradable polymer-lipid hybrid nanoparticles (PST-PLNPs) containing anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules might be potential alternative drug carriers to liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis.
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