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A549 Cells, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Cell Survival, Collagen, Drug Carriers, Glycerophosphates, Humans, Hydrogels, Immunologic Factors, Immunomodulation, Interleukins, Lipids, Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation, Methylcellulose, Nanoparticles, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Signal Transduction, Tretinoin


School of Pharmacy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) [Investigator Award 13/IA/840]


This is a pre-print of an article published in Pharmaceutical Research. The final authenticated version is available online at: DOI:10.1007/s11095-019-2583-x


PURPOSE: To investigate two potential strategies aimed at targeting the inflammatory pathogenesis of COPD: a small molecule, all trans retinoic acid (atRA) and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs).

METHODS: atRA was formulated into solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) via the emulsification-ultrasonication method, and these SLNs were characterised physicochemically. Assessment of the immunomodulatory effects of atRA-SLNs on A549 cells in vitro was determined using ELISA. hMSCs were suspended in a previously developed methylcellulose, collagen and beta-glycerophosphate hydrogel prior to investigating their immunomodulatory effects in vitro.

RESULTS: SLNs provided significant encapsulation of atRA and also sustained its release over 72 h. A549 cells were viable following the addition of atRA SLNs and showed a reduction in IL-6 and IL-8 levels. A549 cells also remained viable following addition of the hMSC/hydrogel formulation - however, this formulation resulted in increased levels of IL-6 and IL-8, indicating a potentially pro-inflammatory effect.

CONCLUSION: Both atRA SLNs and hMSCs show potential for modulating the environment in inflammatory disease, though through different mechanisms and leading to different outcomes - despite both being explored as strategies for use in inflammatory disease. atRA shows promise by acting in a directly anti-inflammatory manner, whereas further research into the exact mechanisms and behaviours of hMSCs in inflammatory diseases is required.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | Translational Medical Research


Payne CM, Burke LP, Cavanagh B, O'Toole D, Cryan SA, Kelly HM. Evaluation of the Immunomodulatory Effects of All-Trans Retinoic Acid Solid Lipid Nanoparticles and Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells in an A549 Epithelial Cell Line Model. Pharmaceutical Research. 2019;36(4):50

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Available for download on Thursday, February 13, 2020