Assessing the potential of liposomes loaded with curcumin as a therapeutic intervention in asthma

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Journal Article
Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2018, 172 pp. 51 - 59
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Curcumin a component of turmeric, which is derived from Curcuma longa is used as a colouring agent and as a dietary spice for centuries. Extensive studies have been done on the anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin along with its molecular mechanism involving different signalling pathways. However, the physicochemical and biological properties such as poor solubility and rapid metabolism of curcumin have led to low bioavailability and hence limits its application. Current therapies for asthma such as bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are aimed at controlling disease symptoms and prevent asthma exacerbation. However, this approach requires lifetime therapy and is associated with a constellation of side effects. This creates a clear unmet medical need and there is an urgent demand for new and more-effective treatments. The present study is aimed to formulate liposomes containing curcumin and evaluate for its anti-inflammatory effects on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation on BCi-NS1.1 cell line. Curcumin and salbutamol liposomes were formulated using lipid hydration method. The prepared liposomes were characterized in terms of particle size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency and in-vitro release profile. The liposomes were tested on BCI-NS1.1 cell line to evaluate its anti-inflammatory properties. The various pro-inflammatory markers studied were Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Interleukin-8 (IL-8), Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and Tumour Necrosis Factor-a (TNF-a). Additionally, molecular mechanics simulations were used to elucidate the positioning, energy minimization, and aqueous dispersion of the liposomal architecture involving lecithin and curcumin. The prepared curcumin formulation showed an average size and zeta potential of 271.3 ± 3.06 nm and −61.0 mV, respectively. The drug encapsulation efficiency of liposomal curcumin is 81.1%. Both curcumin-loaded liposomes formulation (1 μg/mL, 5 μg/mL) resulted in significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the level of pro-inflammatory marker expression such as IL-6, IL-8, IL-1β and TNF-a compared to positive control group. Liposomal curcumin with the dose of 1 μg/mL reduced the inflammatory markers more effectively compared to that of 5 μg/mL. Liposomal curcumin could be a promising intervention for asthma therapy showing their efficacy in suppressing the important pro-inflammatory markers involved in the pathogenesis of asthma.
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