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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2003 Nov;285(5):C1339-47. Epub 2003 Jul 23.

Slow intracellular trafficking of catalase nanoparticles targeted to ICAM-1 protects endothelial cells from oxidative stress.

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Institute for Environmental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1 John Morgan/6068, 3620 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Nanotechnologies promise new means for drug delivery. ICAM-1 is a good target for vascular immunotargeting of nanoparticles to the perturbed endothelium, although endothelial cells do not internalize monomeric anti-ICAM-1 antibodies. However, coupling ICAM-1 antibodies to nanoparticles creates multivalent ligands that enter cells via an amiloride-sensitive endocytic pathway that does not require clathrin or caveolin. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that internalized anti-ICAM nanoparticles are retained in a stable form in early endosomes for an unusually long time (1-2 h) and subsequently were degraded following slow transport to lysosomes. Inhibition of lysosome acidification by chloroquine delayed degradation without affecting anti-ICAM trafficking. Also, the microtubule disrupting agent nocodazole delayed degradation by inhibiting anti-ICAM nanoparticle trafficking to lysosomes. Addition of catalase to create anti-ICAM nanoparticles with antioxidant activity did not affect the mechanisms of nanoparticle uptake or trafficking. Intracellular anti-ICAM/catalase nanoparticles were active, because endothelial cells were resistant to H2O2-induced oxidative injury for 1-2 h after nanoparticle uptake. Chloroquine and nocodazole increased the duration of antioxidant protection by decreasing the extent of anti-ICAM/catalase degradation. Therefore, the unique trafficking pathway followed by internalized anti-ICAM nanoparticles seems well suited for targeted delivery of therapeutic enzymes to endothelial cells and may provide a basis for treatment of acute vascular oxidative stress.

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