Nanoprecipitated catestatin released from pharmacologically active microcarriers (PAMs) exerts pro-survival effects on MSC
Catestatin (CST), a fragment of Chromogranin-A, exerts angiogenic, arteriogenic, vasculogenic and cardioprotective effects. CST is a very promising agent for revascularization purposes, in “NO-OPTION” patients. However, peptides have a very short half-life after administration and must be conveniently protected. Fibronectin-coated pharmacologically active microcarriers (FN-PAM), are biodegradable and biocompatible polymeric microspheres that can convey mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) and therapeutic proteins delivered in a prolonged manner. In this study, we first evaluated whether a small peptide such as CST could be nanoprecipitated and incorporated within FN-PAMs. Subsequently, whether CST may be released in a prolonged manner by functionalized FN-PAMs (FN-PAM-CST). Finally, we assessed the effect of CST released by FN-PAM-CST on the survival of MSCs under stress conditions of hypoxia-reoxygenation. An experimental design, modifying three key parameters (ionic strength, mixing and centrifugation time) of protein nanoprecipitation, was used to define the optimum condition for CST. An optimal nanoprecipitation yield of 76% was obtained allowing encapsulation of solid CST within FN-PAM-CST, which released CST in a prolonged manner. In vitro, MSCs adhered to FN-PAMs, and the controlled release of CST from FN-PAM-CST greatly limited hypoxic MSC-death and enhanced MSC-survival in post-hypoxic environment. These results suggest that FN-PAM-CST are promising tools for cell-therapy.