American Chemical Society
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Theranostic Quercetin Nanoparticle for Treatment of Hepatic Fibrosis

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-11-01, 18:40 authored by Qiang Zhang, Dan Xu, Qiuyan Guo, Wenjun Shan, Jun Yang, Tongtong Lin, Shefang Ye, Xi Zhou, Yunlong Ge, Shengli Bi, Lei Ren
The progression of hepatic fibrosis can lead to cirrhosis and hepatic failure, but the development of antifibrotic drugs have faced the challenges of poor effectiveness and targeted specificity. Herein, a theranostic strategy was carried to encapsulate a natural medicine (Quercetin, QR) into hepatitis B core (HBc) protein nanocages (NCs) for imaging and targeted treatment of hepatic fibrosis. It was noted that nanoparticles (RGD-HBc/QR) with surface-displayed RGD targeting ligand exhibit a rather high selectivity toward activated HSCs via the binding affinity with integrin αvβ3, and an efficient inhibition of proliferation and activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in vitro and in vivo. Once encapsulated in quercetin–gadolinium complex and/or labeled with the NIR fluorescent probes (Cy5.5), the resulting nanoparticles (RGD-HBc/QGd) show great potential as NIR fluorescent and magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents for hepatic fibrosis in vivo. Therefore, the multifunctional integrin-targeted nanoparticles could selectively deliver QR to the activated HSCs, and may provide an effective antifibrotic theranostic strategy.