Cyclosporine A-loaded and stem cell-seeded electrospun nanofibers for cell-based therapy and local immunosuppression

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Cyclosporine A (CsA), a potent immunosuppressive drug with low water solubility, was dissolved in poly(L-lactic acid) (PLA) solution, and nanofibers were fabricated from this mixture by electrospinning technology. The addition of CsA into the PLA solution and the conditions of the electrospinning process did not influence the structure of the nanofibers nor affect the pharmacological activity of CsA. Study of the CsA release behavior in culture medium showed a release for at least 96 h. After the topical application of CsA-loaded nanofibers on skin allografts in vivo, the release was significantly slower and about 35% of the drug was still retained in the nanofibers on day 8. The addition of CsA-loaded nanofibers into cultures of mouse spleen cells stimulated with Concanavalin A selectively inhibited T cell functions; the activity of stimulated macrophages or the growth of non-T-cell populations was not suppressed in the presence of CsA-loaded nanofibers. The covering of skin allografts with CsA-loaded nanofibers significantly attenuated the local production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-2, IFN-γ and IL-17. These results suggest that CsA-loaded electrospun nanofibers can serve as effective drug carriers for the local/topical suppression of an inflammatory reaction and simultaneously could be used as scaffolds for cell-based therapy.

Graphical abstract

Cyslosporine A-loaded PLA nanofibers selectively inhibit T-cell functions in vitro and in vivo. Drug-loaded and cell-seeded PLA nanofibers can serve as cell scaffolds and simultaneously as effective drug carriers in regenerative medicine.

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