Integrated oral microgel system ameliorates renal fibrosis by hitchhiking co-delivery and targeted gut flora modulation


J Nanobiotechnology. 2024 Jun 1;22(1):305. doi: 10.1186/s12951-024-02586-2.


BACKGROUND: Renal fibrosis is a progressive process associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), contributing to impaired kidney function. Active constituents in traditional Chinese herbs, such as emodin (EMO) and asiatic acid (AA), exhibit potent anti-fibrotic properties. However, the oral administration of EMO and AA results in low bioavailability and limited kidney accumulation. Additionally, while oral probiotics have been accepted for CKD treatment through gut microbiota modulation, a significant challenge lies in ensuring their viability upon administration. Therefore, our study aims to address both renal fibrosis and gut microbiota imbalance through innovative co-delivery strategies.

RESULTS: In this study, we developed yeast cell wall particles (YCWPs) encapsulating EMO and AA self-assembled nanoparticles (NPYs) and embedded them, along with Lactobacillus casei Zhang, in chitosan/sodium alginate (CS/SA) microgels. The developed microgels showed significant controlled release properties for the loaded NPYs and prolonged the retention time of Lactobacillus casei Zhang (L. casei Zhang) in the intestine. Furthermore, in vivo biodistribution showed that the microgel-carried NPYs significantly accumulated in the obstructed kidneys of rats, thereby substantially increasing the accumulation of EMO and AA in the impaired kidneys. More importantly, through hitchhiking delivery based on yeast cell wall and positive modulation of gut microbiota, our microgels with this synergistic strategy of therapeutic and modulatory interactions could regulate the TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway and thus effectively ameliorate renal fibrosis in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) rats.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, our work provides a new strategy for the treatment of renal fibrosis based on hitchhiking co-delivery of nanodrugs and probiotics to achieve synergistic effects of disease treatment and targeted gut flora modulation.

PMID:38822364 | DOI:10.1186/s12951-024-02586-2