Macrophage exosomes as natural nanocarriers for protein delivery to inflamed brain.
BACKGROUND Parkinson's disease is a common progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with profound nigrostriatal degeneration. Regrettably, no therapies are currently available that can attenuate disease progression. To this end, we developed a cell-based nanoformulation delivery system using the antioxidant enzyme catalase to attenuate neuroinflammatory processes linked to neuronal death. METHODS Nanoformulated catalase was obtained by coupling catalase to a synthetic polyelectrolyte of opposite charge, leading to the formation of a polyion complex micelle. The nanozyme was loaded into bone marrow macrophages and its transport to the substantia nigra pars compacta was evaluated in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-intoxicated mice. RESULTS Therapeutic efficacy of bone marrow macrophages loaded with nanozyme was confirmed by twofold reductions in microgliosis as measured by CD11b expression. A twofold increase in tyrosine hydroxylase-expressing dopaminergic neurons was detected in nanozyme-treated compared with untreated MPTP-intoxicated mice. Neuronal survival was confirmed by magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. Bone marrow macrophage-loaded catalase showed sustained release of the enzyme in plasma. CONCLUSION These data support the importance of macrophage-based nanozyme carriage for Parkinson's disease therapies.