Use of nanoparticles (HPPS) to carry Curcumin to induce Heme Oxygenase-1 (HO-1) as a cytoprotective agent in human endothelial cells
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High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are endogenous nanoparticles that maintain physiological levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) via reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). HDL is known to reduce atherosclerotic lesions, however, the mechanism of nano-lipoproteins for treating atherosclerosis at the cellular level has not been clearly elucidated. Heme Oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a stress responsive, cytoprotective and rate-limiting enzyme in heme degradation to produce potent antioxidant effects. Curcumin is a naturally occurring anti-oxidant drug that increases the expression of HO-1. Here, we show synthesis and characterization of HPPS and curcumin-loaded HPPS nanoparticles as a potential nanomedicine candidate for improving endothelial tolerance to stress. Both nanoparticles and nanoparticles loaded with curcumin are physiologically biocompatible in HUVEC. Time and dose-dependent cellular exposure to curcumin was shown to induce HO-1 expression. These results suggest a potential novel therapeutic strategy for atherosclerosis. Confirmation of dose-equivalency and cell specificity of HPPS is still required before we can proceed from in-vitro studies to in-vivo studies to investigate the efficacy of curcumin-loaded HPPS nanoparticles as a candidate therapy.