Docosahexaenoic acid liposomes for targeting chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer: an in vitro assessment

Amr Muhmed Sabry Abdelhakeem Alaarg, N.Y. Jordan, J.J.F. Verhoef, Josbert Maarten Metselaar, Gerrit Storm, R.J. Kok

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34 Citations (Scopus)
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Inflammation, oxidative stress, and uncontrolled cell proliferation are common key features of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis and cancer. ω3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs; also known as omega3 fatty acids or fish oil) have beneficial effects against inflammation upon dietary consumption. However, these effects cannot be fully exploited unless diets are enriched with high concentrations of fish oil supplements over long periods of time. Here, a nanomedicine-based approach is presented for delivering effective levels of PUFAs to inflammatory cells. Nanoparticles are internalized by immune cells, and hence can adequately deliver bioactive lipids into these target cells. The ω3 FA docosahexaenoic acid was formulated into liposomes (ω-liposomes), and evaluated for anti-inflammatory effects in different types of immune cells. ω-Liposomes strongly inhibited the release of reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species from human neutrophils and murine macrophages, and also inhibited the production of the proinflammatory cytokines TNFα and MCP1. Moreover, ω-liposomes inhibited tumor-cell proliferation when evaluated in FaDu head and neck squamous carcinoma and 4T1 breast cancer cells in in vitro cultures. We propose that ω-liposomes are a promising nanonutraceutical formulation for intravenous delivery of fish oil FAs, which may be beneficial in the treatment of inflammatory disorders and cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5027-5040
JournalInternational journal of nanomedicine
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • METIS-320757
  • IR-103379


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