Enhanced Chemical Stability, Intestinal Absorption, and Intracellular Antioxidant Activity of Cyanidin-3‑O‑glucoside by Composite Nanogel Encapsulation

A composite nanogel was developed for cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (C3G) delivery by combining Maillard reaction and heat gelation. The starting materials utilized were ovalbumin, dextran, and pectin. C3G-loaded nanogel was spherical with a diameter of ∼185 nm, which was maintained over a wide range of pH and NaCl concentrations. The composite nanogel enhanced the chemical stability of C3G under accelerated degradation models and a simulated gastrointestinal tract. Clathrin-mediated, caveolae-mediated, and macropinocytosis-related endocytosis contributed to the higher cellular uptake of nano-C3G than that of free-C3G. The apparent permeability coefficients of C3G increased 2.16 times after nanoencapsulation. The transcytosis of the C3G-bearing nanogel occurred primarily through the clathrin-related pathway and macropinocytosis and followed the “common recycling endosomes–endoplasmic reticulum–Golgi complex–basolateral plasma membrane” route. Moreover, nano-C3G was more efficient in restoring the viability of cells and activities of endogenous antioxidant enzymes than free-C3G in oxidative models, which may be attributed to the former’s high cellular absorption.