Collagenase loaded chitosan nanoparticles for digestion of the collagenous scar in liver fibrosis: The effect of chitosan intrinsic collagen binding on the success of targeting

El-Safy, Sara; Tammam, Salma N; Abdel-Halim, Mohammad; Ali, Mohamed E; Youshia, John; Shetab Boushehri, Maryam A; Lamprecht, Alf; Mansour, Samar;

Abstract


A variety of hepatic insults result in the accumulation of collagen-rich new extracellular matrix in the liver, ultimately culminating in liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. For such reasons, approaches looking into digestion of the collagen-rich extracellular matrix present an interesting therapeutic approach for cases of chronic liver disease, where the fibrotic scar is well established. Portal collagenase administration has recently led to the successful reversion of cirrhosis in an experimental rabbit model. Notwithstanding, the question of how such a sensitive therapeutic macromolecule could be administered in a less invasive manner, and in a way that preserves its functionality and avoids digestion of other non-hepatic vital collagen presents itself. Chitosan is a biodegradable polymer that has been reported to interact and bind to collagen. Chitosan nanoparticles (CS NPs) have also been reported to encapsulate therapeutic proteins, maintaining their functional form and protecting them from in-vivo degradation. For such reasons, CS NPs were loaded with collagenase and evaluated in-vitro and in-vivo for their ability to target and digest collagen. CS NPs were able to encapsulate collagenase (≈ 60% encapsulation efficiency) and release its content in active form. To determine whether chitosan's collagen interaction would enable NP collagen binding or whether the modification with collagen binding peptides (CBPs) is necessary, CS NPs were modified with the CBP; CCQDSETRTFY. Since the density of targeting ligand and the length of tether play a significant role in the success of active targeting, the surface of NPs was modified with different densities of the CBP either directly or using a polyethylene glycol (PEG) spacer. PEGylated NPs showed higher levels of CBP tagging; high, intermediate and low density of CBPs corresponded to 585.8 ± 33, 252.9 ± 25.3 and 56.5 ± 8.8 µg/mL for PEGylated NPs and 425.56 ± 12.67, 107.91 ± 10.3 and 49.86 ± 3.2 µg/mL for unPEGylated NPs, respectively. In-vitro collagen binding experiments showed that unmodified CS NPs were able to bind collagen and that modification with CBPs either directly or via PEG did not enhance collagen binding. In-vivo experiments demonstrated that unmodified CS NPs were able to reverse fibrosis with a survival rate of 100% at the end of the study, indicating the ability of CS NPs to deliver functional collagenase to the fibrotic liver and making the use of CBPs unnecessary.


Other data

Title Collagenase loaded chitosan nanoparticles for digestion of the collagenous scar in liver fibrosis: The effect of chitosan intrinsic collagen binding on the success of targeting
Authors El-Safy, Sara; Tammam, Salma N; Abdel-Halim, Mohammad; Ali, Mohamed E; Youshia, John ; Shetab Boushehri, Maryam A; Lamprecht, Alf; Mansour, Samar
Keywords Active targeting-collagenase;Chitosan nanoparticles;Collagen;Collagen binding peptides;Liver fibrosis
Issue Date Mar-2020
Publisher Elsevier
Journal European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics 
Volume 114
Start page 54
End page 66
ISSN 09396411
DOI 10.1016/j.ejpb.2020.01.003
PubMed ID 31945489
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-85078098767

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