Lipid nanoparticles with minimum burst release of TNF-α siRNA show strong activity against rheumatoid arthritis unresponsive to methotrexate

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TNF-α siRNA has shown promising therapeutic benefits in animal models of rheumatoid arthritis. However, there continues to be a need for siRNA delivery systems that have high siRNA encapsulation efficiency and minimum burst release of TNF-α siRNA, and can target inflamed tissues after intravenous administration. Herein we report a novel acid-sensitive sheddable PEGylated solid-lipid nanoparticle formulation of TNF-α-siRNA, AS-TNF-α-siRNA-SLNs, prepared by incorporating lipophilized TNF-α-siRNA into solid-lipid nanoparticles composed of biocompatible lipids such as lecithin and cholesterol. The nanoparticles are approximately 120 nm in diameter, have a high siRNA encapsulation efficiency (>90%) and a minimum burst release of siRNA (<5%), and increase the deilvery of the siRNA in chronic inflammation sites in mouse models, including in a mouse model with collagen-induced arthritis. Importantly, in a mouse model of collagen antibody-induced arthritis that does not respond to methotrexate therapy, intravenous injection of the AS-TNF-α-siRNA-SLNs significantly reduced paw thickness, bone loss, and histopathological scores. These findings highlight the potential of using this novel siRNA nanoparticle formulation to effectively treat arthritis, potentially in patients who do not respond adequately to methotrexate.Graphical abstract

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