Dual Roles of Graphene Oxide To Attenuate Inflammation and Elicit Timely Polarization of Macrophage Phenotypes for Cardiac Repair.
ACS Nano. 2018 Feb 7. Epub 2018 Feb 7. PMID: 29397689
Development of localized inflammatory environments by M1 macrophages in the cardiac infarction region exacerbates heart failure after myocardial infarction (MI). Therefore, the regulation of inflammation by M1 macrophages and their timely polarization toward regenerative M2 macrophages suggest an immunotherapy. Particularly, controlling cellular generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause M1 differentiation, and developing M2 macrophage phenotypes in macrophages propose a therapeutic approach. Previously, stem or dendritic cells were used in MI for their anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective potentials and showed inflammation modulation and M2 macrophage progression for cardiac repair. However, cell-based therapeutics are limited due to invasive cell isolation, time-consuming cell expansion, labor-intensive and costly ex vivo cell manipulation, and low grafting efficiency. Here, we report that graphene oxide (GO) can serve as an antioxidant and attenuate inflammation and inflammatory polarization of macrophages via reduction in intracellular ROS. In addition, GO functions as a carrier for interleukin-4 plasmid DNA (IL-4 pDNA) that propagates M2 macrophages. We synthesized a macrophage-targeting/polarizing GO complex (MGC) and demonstrated that MGC decreased ROS in immune-stimulated macrophages. Furthermore, DNA-functionalized MGC (MGC/IL-4 pDNA) polarized M1 to M2 macrophages and enhanced the secretion of cardiac repair-favorable cytokines. Accordingly, injection of MGC/IL-4 pDNA into mouse MI models attenuated inflammation, elicited early polarization toward M2 macrophages, mitigated fibrosis, and improved heart function. Taken together, the present study highlights a biological application of GO in timely modulation of the immune environment in MI for cardiac repair. Current therapy using off-the-shelf material GO may overcome the shortcomings of cell therapies for MI.