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Carbon Dots Derived from Citric Acid and Glutathione as a Highly Efficient Intracellular Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenger for Alleviating the Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammation in Macrophages

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journal contribution
posted on 01.09.2020 by Huibo Wang, MengLing Zhang, Yurong Ma, Bo Wang, Hui Huang, Yang Liu, Mingwang Shao, Zhenhui Kang
Reactive oxygen species (ROSs), acting as functionalized molecules in intracellular enzyme reactions and intercellular communication of immune response, play vital roles in biological metabolism. However, the inevitably excessive ROS-induced oxidative stress is harmful for organ tissue, causing unexpected local anaphylaxis or inflammation. Here, we demonstrate carbon dots (CDs), made of citric acid and glutathione via one-step hydrothermal method, as a highly efficient intracellular ROS scavenger for alleviating the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation in macrophage. These CDs have broad-spectrum antioxidant properties and the total antioxidant activity exceeds 51.6% higher than that of the precursor, namely, glutathione, in the same mass concentration. Moreover, their antioxidative performance in macrophage inflammation induced by LPS was investigated, and it was found that CDs can efficiently remove up to 98% of intracellular ROS, notably inhibiting nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) signaling pathway, and decrease the expression level of inflammatory factor IL-12. Our results suggested that CDs can serve as a highly efficient intracellular ROS scavenger and could be employed to cope with oxidative stress-induced diseases.