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Journal Of Controlled Release : Official Journal Of The Controlled Release Society
Mattos, A;de Jager-Krikken, A;de Haan, M;Beljaars, L;Poelstra, K;
Liver fibrosis represents a scar formation process as a response to chronic injury and a major cause of death worldwide. To date, no drug is available for this condition. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) has potent anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic properties but its short half-life in the circulation hampers its clinical use. Our aim was therefore to modify IL-10 with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to prolong its circulation time and enhance its effectivity. IL-10 was modified with 5 or 20 kDa PEG. The biological activity was preserved after PEGylation as assessed by inhibition of TNF- production by macrophages. In vivo, during CCl(4)-induced fibrogenesis in mice, both 5PEG-IL-10 and 20PEG-IL-10 showed a longer circulation time compared to IL-10, which was associated with a significant increased liver accumulation. Immunohistochemical analysis of fibrotic livers of mice receiving treatment with IL-10 or its PEGylated forms, revealed a decrease in markers reflecting HSC and KC activation induced by 5PEG-IL10. Transcription levels of IL-6 were decreased upon treatment with IL-10 and both PEGylated forms, whereas IL-1 levels were only down-regulated by 5PEGIL-10 and 20PEGIL-10. We conclude that PEGylation of IL-10 is a good strategy to attenuate liver fibrosis and that 5PEGIL-10 is the most effective conjugate.