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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Feb 2023 - 17 Feb 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development


2023 Feb 13

Nat Commun




Editor's Pick

Remodeling articular immune homeostasis with an efferocytosis-informed nanoimitator mitigates rheumatoid arthritis in mice.


Zhang S, Liu Y, Jing W, Chai Q, Tang C, Li Z, Man Z, Chen C, Zhang J, Sun P, Zhang R, Yang Z, Han M, Wang Y, Wei X, Li J, Li W, Abdalla M, Yu G, Shi B, Zhang Y, Zhao K, Jiang X


Massive intra-articular infiltration of proinflammatory macrophages is a prominent feature of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) lesions, which are thought to underlie articular immune dysfunction, severe synovitis and ultimately joint erosion. Here we report an efferocytosis-informed nanoimitator (EINI) for in situ targeted reprogramming of synovial inflammatory macrophages (SIMs) that thwarts their autoimmune attack and reestablishes articular immune homeostasis, which mitigates RA. The EINI consists of a drug-based core with an oxidative stress-responsive phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) corona and a shell composed of a P-selectin-blocking motif, low molecular weight heparin (LMWH). When systemically administered, the LMWH on the EINI first binds to P-selectin overexpressed on the endothelium in subsynovial capillaries, which functions as an antagonist, disrupting neutrophil synovial trafficking. Due to the strong dysregulation of the synovial microvasculature, the EINI is subsequently enriched in the joint synovium where the shell is disassembled upon the reactive oxygen species stimulation, and PtdSer corona is then exposed. In an efferocytosis-like manner, the PtdSer-coroneted core is in turn phagocytosed by SIMs, which synergistically terminate SIM-initiated pathological cascades and serially reestablish intra-articular immune homeostasis, conferring a chondroprotective effect. These findings demonstrate that SIMs can be precisely remodeled via the efferocytosis-mimetic strategy, which holds potential for RA treatment.