Downregulation of VEGF mRNA expression by triamcinolone acetonide acetate-loaded chitosan derivative nanoparticles in human retinal pigment epithelial cells
Huaisheng Zhou,1 Liqun Yang,2,* Huajie Li,2 Haijun Gong,1 Liangzheng Cheng,2 Haisheng Zheng,1 Li-Ming Zhang,2 Yuqing Lan1,*
1Department of Ophthalmology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, 2Institute of Polymer Science, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Key Laboratory of Designed Synthesis and Application of Polymer Material, Key Laboratory for Polymeric Composite and Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
*Both corresponding authors contributed equally to this work
Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the downregulation of mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by triamcinolone acetonide acetate (TAA)-loaded chitosan nanoparticles in human retinal pigment epithelial cells.
Methods: TAA-loaded deoxycholic acid-modified chitosan (TAA/DA-Chit) nanoparticles were prepared via a self-assembly mechanism, and their morphology and zeta potential were examined by transmission electron microscopy and zeta potential analysis, respectively. DA-Chit and TAA/DA-Chit nanoparticle toxicity was evaluated using a Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. The efficiency of cellular uptake was determined using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled DA-Chit nanoparticles, in place of TAA/DA-Chit nanoparticles, assessed by both inverted fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Downregulation of VEGF mRNA expression by TAA/DA-Chit nanoparticles was further investigated by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay of the treated human retinal pigment epithelial cells.
Results: TAA/DA-Chit nanoparticles were prepared with a TAA-loading capacity in the range of 12%–82%, which increased the water solubility of TAA from 0.3 mg/mL to 2.1 mg/mL. These nanoparticles showed oblate shapes 100–550 nm in size in transmission electron microscopic images and had positive zeta potentials. The Cell Counting Kit-8 assay indicated that the DA-Chit and TAA/DA-Chit nanoparticles had no toxicity and low toxicity, respectively, to human retinal pigment epithelial cells. Fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled DA-Chit nanoparticle uptake by human retinal pigment epithelial cells was confirmed by inverted fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Real-time RT-PCR assay showed that the VEGF mRNA level decreased after incubation of human retinal pigment epithelial cells with TAA/DA-Chit nanoparticles.
Conclusion: TAA/DA-Chit nanoparticles had a downregulating effect on VEGF mRNA expression in human retinal pigment epithelial cells and low cytotoxicity, which might be beneficial characteristics for the development of future treatment for diabetic retinopathy.
Keywords: chitosan, nanoparticle, triamcinolone acetonide acetate, human retinal pigment epithelial cells, vascular endothelial growth factor, mRNA
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