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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 Jan 2024 - 19 Jan 2024

2024 Jan 18

ACS Nano


An Engineered Bionic Nanoparticle Sponge as a Cytokine Trap and Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenger to Relieve Disc Degeneration and Discogenic Pain.


Yang W, Li K, Pan Q, Huang W, Xiao Y, Lin H, Liu S, Chen X, Lv X, Feng S, Shao Z, Qing X, Peng Y


The progressive worsening of disc degeneration and related nonspecific back pain are prominent clinical issues that cause a tremendous economic burden. Activation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) related inflammation is a primary pathophysiologic change in degenerative disc lesions. This pathological state is associated with M1 macrophages, apoptosis of nucleus pulposus cells (NPC), and the ingrowth of pain-related sensory nerves. To address the pathological issues of disc degeneration and discogenic pain, we developed MnO@TMNP, a nanomaterial that encapsulated MnO nanoparticles with a TrkA-overexpressed macrophage cell membrane (TMNP). Consequently, this engineered nanomaterial showed high efficiency in binding various inflammatory factors and nerve growth factors, which inhibited inflammation-induced NPC apoptosis, matrix degradation, and nerve ingrowth. Furthermore, the macrophage cell membrane provided specific targeting to macrophages for the delivery of MnO nanoparticles. MnO nanoparticles in macrophages effectively scavenged intracellular ROS and prevented M1 polarization. Supportively, we found that MnO@TMNP prevented disc inflammation and promoted matrix regeneration, leading to downregulated disc degenerative grades in the rat injured disc model. Both mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia were alleviated by MnO@TMNP, which was attributed to the reduced calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P expression in the dorsal root ganglion and the downregulated Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) and Fos Proto-Oncogene (c-FOS) signaling in the spinal cord. We confirmed that the MnO@TMNP nanomaterial alleviated the inflammatory immune microenvironment of intervertebral discs and the progression of disc degeneration, resulting in relieved discogenic pain.