ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 8824-8837.

Macrophage-Targeted Hydroxychloroquine Nanotherapeutics for Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease with unclear pathogenesis. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), despite its moderate anti-RA efficacy, is among the few clinical drugs used for RA therapy. Macrophages reportedly play a vital role in RA. Here, we designed and explored macrophage-targeted HCQ nanotherapeutics based on mannose-functionalized polymer[1]somes (MP-HCQ) for RA therapy. Notably, MP-HCQ exhibited favorable properties of less than 50 nm size, glutathione[1]accelerated HCQ release, and M1 phenotype macrophage (M1M) targetability, leading to repolarization of macrophages to anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype (M2M), reduced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6), and upregulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10). The therapeutic studies in the zymosan-induced RA (ZIA) mouse model showed marked accumulation of MP-HCQ in the inflammation sites, ameliorated symptoms of RA joints, significantly reduced IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1β, and increased IL-10 and TGF-β compared with free HCQ. The ****yses of RA joints disclosed greatly amplified M2M and declined mature DCs, CD4+ T cells, and CD8+ T cells. In accordance, MP-HCQ significantly reduced the damage of RA joints, cartilages, and bones compared to free HCQ and non-targeted controls. Macrophage-targeted HCQ nanotherapeutics therefore appears as a highly potent treatment for RA.

H.H. Fang, Y.J. Sha, L. Yang, J.J. Jiang, L.C. Yin, J.Y. Li, B. Li, B. Klumperman, Z.Y. Zhong*, and F.H. Meng*, Macrophage-Targeted Hydroxychloroquine Nanotherapeutics for Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 8824-8837.