Investigation of the cytokine response to NF-ΚB decoy oligonucleotide coated polysaccharide based nanoparticles in rheumatoid arthritis in vitro models

Patricia R. Wardwell, Martin B. Forstner, Rebecca A. Bader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Introduction: The transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-ΚB) is highly involved in regulation of a number of cellular processes, including production of inflammatory mediators. Thus, this transcription factor plays a role in pathology of many diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease hallmarked by an imbalance of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Small nucleic acids with sequences that mimic the native binding site of NF-ΚB have been proposed as treatment options for RA; however due to low cellular penetration and a high degree of instability, clinical applications of these therapeutics have been limited. Methods: Here, we describe the use of N-trimethyl chitosan-polysialic acid (PSA-TMC) nanoparticles coated with decoy oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) specific to transcription factor NF-ΚB (PSA-TMC-ODN) as a method to enhance the stability of the nucleic acids and facilitate increased cellular penetration. In addition to decoy ODN, PSA-TMC nanoparticles were loaded with RA therapeutic methotrexate (MTX), to assess the anti-inflammatory efficacy of a combination therapy approach. Two different in vitro models, a cell line based model as well as a primary RA cell model were used to investigate anti-inflammatory activity. One way ANOVA followed by Holm-Sidak stepdown comparisons was used to determine statistical significance. Results: In general, free ODN did not significantly affect secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-8, (IL-8) while free MTX had variable efficacy. However, PSA-TMC-ODN and PSA-TMC-ODN-MTX resulted in significant decreases in the inflammatory mediators IL-6 and IL-8 in both cell models. In addition, PSA-TMC exhibited sufficient cellular uptake, as observed through fluorescence microscopy. Conclusions: These results support our previous findings that PSA-TMC nanoparticles are an effective delivery vehicle for small nucleic acids, and effectively alter the pro-inflammatory state characteristic of RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number310
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 4 2015


  • Immunomodulation
  • NF-ΚB
  • Nanoparticles
  • Primary cells
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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