scientists from Michigan University, USA and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology designed a study based on hyaluronic acid–bilirubin nanomedicine which accumulates in inflamed colonic epithelium and restores the epithelium barriers in a murine model of acute colitis. Traditional medical interventions for IBDs have mainly focused on managing the symptoms of IBDs by suppressing immune responses; however, they generally do not address the underlying causes of IBDs, including damage to the mucus layer in the gastrointestinal tract, subsequent loss of intestinal barrier functions and dysbiosis of the gut commensal microorganisms.
Here is the abstract of the paper: While conventional approaches for inflammatory bowel diseases mainly focus on suppressing hyperactive immune responses, it remains unclear how to address disrupted intestinal barriers, dysbiosis of the gut commensal microbiota and dysregulated mucosal immune responses in inflammatory bowel diseases. Moreover, immunosuppressive agents can cause off-target systemic side effects and complications. Here, we report the development of hyaluronic acid–bilirubin nanomedicine (HABN) that accumulates in inflamed colonic epithelium and restores the epithelium barriers in a murine model of acute colitis. Surprisingly, HABN also modulates the gut microbiota, increasing the overall richness and diversity and markedly augmenting the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila and Clostridium XIVα, which are microorganisms with crucial roles in gut homeostasis. Importantly, HABN associated with pro-inflammatory macrophages, regulated innate immune responses and exerted potent therapeutic efficacy against colitis. Our work sheds light on the impact of nanotherapeutics on gut homeostasis, microbiome and innate immune responses for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.