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PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23388. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023388. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Curcumin-loaded apotransferrin nanoparticles provide efficient cellular uptake and effectively inhibit HIV-1 replication in vitro.

Author information

1
Department of Biotechnology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) shows significant activity across a wide spectrum of conditions, but its usefulness is rather limited because of its low bioavailability. Use of nanoparticle formulations to enhance curcumin bioavailability is an emerging area of research.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

In the present study, curcumin-loaded apotransferrin nanoparticles (nano-curcumin) prepared by sol-oil chemistry and were characterized by electron and atomic force microscopy. Confocal studies and fluorimetric analysis revealed that these particles enter T cells through transferrin-mediated endocytosis. Nano-curcumin releases significant quantities of drug gradually over a fairly long period, ∼50% of curcumin still remaining at 6 h of time. In contrast, intracellular soluble curcumin (sol-curcumin) reaches a maximum at 2 h followed by its complete elimination by 4 h. While sol-curcumin (GI(50) = 15.6 µM) is twice more toxic than nano-curcumin (GI(50) = 32.5 µM), nano-curcumin (IC(50)<1.75 µM) shows a higher anti-HIV activity compared to sol-curcumin (IC(50) = 5.1 µM). Studies in vitro showed that nano-curcumin prominently inhibited the HIV-1 induced expression of Topo II α, IL-1β and COX-2, an effect not seen with sol-curcumin. Nano-curcumin did not affect the expression of Topoisomerase II β and TNF α. This point out that nano-curcumin affects the HIV-1 induced inflammatory responses through pathways downstream or independent of TNF α. Furthermore, nano-curcumin completely blocks the synthesis of viral cDNA in the gag region suggesting that the nano-curcumin mediated inhibition of HIV-1 replication is targeted to viral cDNA synthesis.

CONCLUSION:

Curcumin-loaded apotransferrin nanoparticles are highly efficacious inhibitors of HIV-1 replication in vitro and promise a high potential for clinical usefulness.

PMID:
21887247
PMCID:
PMC3161739
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0023388
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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