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Papers of the Week

2022 Aug 25

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Effects of Microencapsulated Ferulic Acid or Its Prodrug Methyl Ferulate on Neuroinflammation Induced by Muramyl Dipeptide.


Botti G, Bianchi A, Pavan B, Tedeschi P, Albanese V, Ferraro L, Spizzo F, Del Bianco L, Dalpiaz A
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 25; 19(17).
PMID: 36078325.


Ferulic acid (Fer) is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, which are possibly useful against neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the ability of Fer to permeate the brain, its fast elimination from the body does not allow its therapeutic use to be optimized. The present study proposes the preparation and characterization of tristearin- or stearic acid-based solid lipid microparticles (SLMs) as sustained delivery and targeting systems for Fer. The microparticles were produced by conventional hot emulsion techniques. The synthesis of the methyl ester of Fer (Fer-Me) allowed its encapsulation in the SLMs to increase. Fer-Me was hydrolyzed to Fer in rat whole blood and liver homogenate, evidencing its prodrug behavior. Furthermore, Fer-Me displayed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The amount of encapsulated Fer-Me was 0.719 ± 0.005% or 1.507 ± 0.014% in tristearin or stearic acid SLMs, respectively. The tristearin SLMs were able to control the prodrug release, while the stearic acid SLMs induced a significant increase of its dissolution rate in water. Jointly, the present results suggest that the tristearin SLMs loaded with Fer-Me could be a potential formulation against peripheral neuropathic pain; conversely, the stearic acid SLMs could be useful for Fer-Me uptake in the brain after nasal administration of the formulation.