Systemic anti-inflammatory therapy aided by double-headed nanoparticles in a canine model of acute intraocular inflammation.
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Novel approaches circumventing blood-ocular barriers in systemic drug delivery are lacking. We hypothesize receptor-mediated delivery of curcumin (CUR) across intestinal and ocular barriers leads to decreased inflammation in a model of lens-induced uveitis. CUR was encapsulated in double-headed polyester nanoparticles using gambogic acid (GA)-coupled polylactide-co-glycolide (PLGA). Orally administered PLGA-GA2-CUR led to notable aqueous humor CUR levels and was dosed (10 mg/kg twice daily) to adult male beagles (n = 8 eyes) with induced ocular inflammation. Eyes were evaluated using a semiquantitative preclinical ocular toxicology scoring (SPOTS) and compared to commercial anti-inflammatory treatment (oral carprofen 2.2 mg/kg twice daily) (n = 8) and untreated controls (n = 8). PLGA-GA2-CUR offered improved protection compared with untreated controls and similar protection compared with carprofen, with reduced aqueous flare, miosis, and chemosis in the acute phase (<4 hours). This study highlights the potential of PLGA-GA2 nanoparticles for systemic drug delivery across ocular barriers.