AbstractCurcumin, a natural polyphenol derived from the spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. However, curcumin bioavailability is inherently low due to poor water solubility and rapid metabolism. Here, we further refined for use curcumin incorporated into “biomimetic” nanolipoprotein particles (cNLPs) consisting of a phospholipid bilayer surrounded by apolipoprotein A1 and amphipathic polymer scaffolding moieties. Our cNLP formulation improves the water solubility of curcumin over 30-fold and produces nanoparticles with ~350 µg/ml total loading capacity for downstream in vitro and in vivo applications. We found that cNLPs were well-tolerated in AG05965/MRC-5 human primary lung fibroblasts compared to cultures treated with curcumin solubilized in DMSO (curDMSO). Pre- treatment with cNLPs of quiescent G0/G1-phase MRC-5 cultures improved cell survival following 137Cs gamma ray irradiations, although this finding was reversed in asynchronously cycling log- phase cell cultures. These findings may be useful for establishing cNLPs as a method to improve curcumin bioavailability for administration as a radioprotective and/or radiomitigative agent against ionizing radiation (IR) exposures in non-cycling cells or as a radiosensitizing agent for actively dividing cell populations, such as tumors.
Published: January 13, 2023