Milk Exosomes Facilitate Oral Delivery of Drugs against Intestinal Bacterial Infections

Extracellular Vesicles

Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) class II and IV drugs exhibit low solubility and suffer a limitation in oral administration. Exosomes have attracted intensive attention in the efficient delivery of such compounds. However, low gastrointestinal stability and high production cost of exosomes hinder their development as drug carriers. Here, milk exosomes are functionalized with phosphatidylserine and are capable of improving the solubility of BCS class II and IV drugs, resulting in facilitating the oral delivery of the drugs. A natural flavonoid, α-mangostin, is loaded into exosomes (AExo) to enhance the antibacterial efficiency, demonstrated by clearing 99% of bacteria in macrophages. Furthermore, AExo exhibits high mucus penetrability and shows a significant therapeutic efficacy in two animal infection models. Collectively, this work expands the application of exosomes from bovine milk with simple operation and low cost, shedding light on the potential of milk exosomes in improving the solubility of drugs to enhance the efficacy of oral administration.

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Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.

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