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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 30

Sci Rep



Protective effect of ethanolic extract of Echinacea purpurea contained nanoparticles on meniscal/ligamentous injury induced osteoarthritis in obese male rats.


Johnson A, Huang Y-C, Mao C-F, Chen C-K, Thomas S, Kuo H-P, Miao S, Kong Z-L
Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 30; 12(1):5354.
PMID: 35354886.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative joint disease associated with age, mechanical stress, and obesity. Echinacea purpurea is a medicinal plant that shows good anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory activities. In this study, Echinacea purpurea ethanol extract nanoparticles (Nano-EE) were prepared by encapsulating Echinacea purpurea ethanol extract (EE) in chitosan-silica nanoparticles. Obesity (OB) in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats was induced by fed 40% high-fat diet and then anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus injury were performed to induce OA. The rats got different doses of samples by oral gavage. The encapsulation efficiency and loading capacity of Nano-EE were 69.1% and 36.1%, respectively. The average size, polydispersity index (PDI), and zeta potential (ZP) of the Nano-EE were 145 ± 11 nm, 0.24 ± 0.01, - 4.57 ± 0.44 mV, respectively. Furthermore, electron microscopic images showed that the particles were spherical and were slightly agglomerated. Moreover, it showed that the leptin content, expression of MMPs, cytokines level, NF-κB level, and iNOS production were decreased whereas collagen II expression was increased after treatment. Besides, Nano-EE ameliorated the pain caused by OA and reduced the proteoglycan loss in cartilage. These results indicated that encapsulated EE (Nano-EE) can ameliorate OA with a low dosage and are more effective than unencapsulated EE.