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International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science (IJAERS) [Vol-5, Issue-6, Jun- 2018] ISSN: 2349-6495(P) | 2456-1908(O)

Polyethyleneglycol nanoparticles adsorbed to

glycine as a bioengineered neomaterial for
application in inflammatory processes
Paulo Celso Leventi Guimarães1, Eduardo Luzia França2, Adenilda Cristina
Honório rança2, Ricardo Bentes de Azevedo3, Paulo Cesar Morais4, Sebastião
William da Silva4
Federal Institute of Mato Grosso, Barra do Garça MT, Brazil -Email:
Institute of Biological and Health Science, Federal University of Mato Grosso, Barra do Garças, MT, Brazil
3-Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Brasília, Brasília DF 71.910-900, Brazil –
4- Institute of Physics, University of Brasília, Brasília DF 71.910-900, Brazil -

Abstract— Polyethylene glycol nanoparticles (NP-PEG) I. INTRODUCTION

have good adsorption in bioactive compounds and are The inflammatory processes are part various pathologies
considered promising vehicles. Several studies have which involves leukocyte infiltration, enzymes release and
reported the importance of the amino acid for several formation of free radicals derived from oxygen [1,2].
treatments, among them glycine that has Macrophages are cells important in the regulation of the
immunomodulatory, cytoprotective and anti-inflammatory immune response during the inflammation [3]. Some
effects. The objective of this work was to evaluate the works have reported that colostrum presents soluble
efficiency of the synthesis of polyethylene glycol (PEG) immunological components and contains large amounts of
nanoparticles adsorbed with glycine (NANO-PEG/GLY) viable leukocytes, especially macrophages [4]. On the
on functional activity of colostrum macrophages. Human other hand, other studies have revealed that many nutrients
colostrum cells were obtaining from 18 clinically healthy and metabolites provided by food exert an antioxidant
women and used for bioassays of cell viability, effect, useful in protecting human health, preventing
phagocytosis, microbicidal activity and cytokines diseases [5,6]. There are some amino acids, such as
concentration. It was observed that the cell viability index glycine, which is being used in the treatment of patients
in the presence of NANO-PEG/GLY was above 85%. suffering from enterocolitis because they have
Phagocytosis rates in colostrum cells treated with glycine cytoprotective and anti-inflammatory action [7,8,9,10].
and in the presence of EPEC, wheareas the higest Glycine is a simple, non-essential amino acid known as a
microbicidal index were observed in macerophages functional supplement used in the pharmaceutical industry,
treated with PEG-NANO-GLY. IL-1β and TNF-α levels nutritional supplementation [10] and is bioactive
increased in GLY and NANO-PEG/GLY groups. The levels compounds with anti-inflammatory activity present in
of IL-12 and IL-17 also increased in the macrophages colostrum [11,12,13]. Previous work showed that the
cultures under the NANO-PEG/GLY treatment. In the adsorption of glycine onto Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
supernatant cell culture IL-8 and IFN-γ levels were similar microsphere was able to stimulate the colostrum
among the treatments. The date suggest that NANO-PEG macrophages and suggest that the controlled delivery
particles produced were able to adsorb the amino acid system of glycine may be an additional mechanism of
glycine, and this new bioengineered material is capable of protection and treatment of patients with infections and/or
modulating the functional activity of human colostrum inflammation gastrointestinais, as well as for the
macrophages and represents an alternative route for the functioning of colostrum cells [7]. Considering that the
treatment of inflammatory deseases.. PEG is a biodegradable and biocompatible component [14]
Keywords— Colostrum, Glycine, Inflammation, and that this particles have the capacity not to be
Macrophages, Polyethylene glycol. recognized by the immune system, circulate for longer
periods in the body [15,16,17] ] and has the ability to
adsorb organic compounds, it is possible that this carrier of
biological components to be used in the treatment of Page | 10
International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science (IJAERS) [Vol-5, Issue-5, May- 2018] ISSN: 2349-6495(P) | 2456-1908(O)
gastrointestinal inflammation [7,18,19,20]. The aim of this After collection in sterile plastic tubes of each donor, the
study was to evaluate the efficiency of the synthesis of samples were centrifuged at (160 × g, 4 ° C) for 10
polyethylene glycol (PEG) nanoparticles adsorbed with minutes, where the colostrum was separated into three
glycine (NANO-PEG/GLY) on functional activity of distinct phases: cell pellet, an intermediate aqueous phase,
colostrum macrophages. and a lipid-containing supernatant as described by
Honorio-França et al. [21]. Cells were separated by a
II. MATERIAL AND METHODS Ficoll-Paque gradient [Pharmacia, Upsala, Sweden]. This
2.1 Synthesis and Preparation of PEG Nanoparticles procedure generated 98% pure mononuclear cell
The nanoparticles were obtained from Polyethylene glycol preparations as analyzed by light microscopy. Purified
6000 (Sigma-Aldrich Brasil Ltda.) PH = 6.8 using a macrophages were resuspended independently in serum-
modification of the described method [18,19,20]. For the free 199 medium at a final concentration of 2× 10 6 L-1
synthesis of polyethylene glycol (PEG) nanoparticles (NP- cells. After this period the cells were washed twice and
PEG) with glycine adsorbed for the complex formation used for the cell viabilty, phagocitosis and microbicidal
(NANO-PEG/GLY) PEG 6000 (10g) at the concentration assays and the culture supernatant used for quantification
of 0.016 mol/L, was diluted in 100 mL of phosphate of cytokines by the flow cytometric assay.
buffered saline (PBS), incubated for 45 min at 45ºC. 2.5 Escherichia coli strain
Thereafter, 100 μL of a 2% sodium sulfate solution in PBS The enterophatogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) used was
was added by dropwise. After incubation, the PEG isolated from stools of an infant with acute diarrhea
solution was 3: 1 in PBS under rigorous stirring by adding (serotype 0111: H- AL-, eae+, eaf+, bfp+). This material
100 μL of sodium sulfate (UltraTurrax IKA T25/10 min was prepared and adjusted to 107 bacteria/ml, as previously
Ultrasound Probe). Shortly thereafter, heat treatment was described Honorio-França et al. [21].
carried out for 30 minutes at 45ºC to favor sorting in size. 2.6 Cell viability determination by acridine Orange and
After this period the PEG solution was centrifuged for 15 MTT method
minutes at 15,000 rpm and washed (2x); Diluted 10 times In order to determine the cellular viability of GLY, NP-
(PEG + sodium sulfate 100μL 0.45mM) in PBS to PEG and NANO-PEG/GLY after treatments in the cultures
thermally induce the formation of nanoparticles for 7 by acridine orange the experiments were performized
minutes at 97 °C. Subsequently, the pH was adjusted to 6.4 according to Belinatti-Pires et al. [22]. The cells were
and incubated volume to volume the glycine solution stained with 200 μl of acridine orange (Sigma, St. Louis,
(GLY - concentration of 10-3 mol /L - Dynamic® - USA; 14.4 g L-1) for 1 min. The pellet was resuspended in
Diadema, São Paulo, Brazil) and PEG nanoparticles at 37 ° cold medium, washed twice and observed under an
C for 30 minutes. The experiments were repeated 20 times immunofluorescence microscope at magnification of 40x
and the results were analyzed and compared for and 100x. The viability index was calculated by counting
hydrodynamic diameter and surface charge by means of the number of orange- stained [dead] and green- stained
dynamic light scattering (DLS) and Zeta potential (ζ). [alive] cells out of 100 [23]. All experiments were
2.2 Dynamic light scattering (DLS) performed in triplicate.
GLY, NP-PEG and NANO-PEG/GLY systems were To verify the cytotoxicity of the NANO-PEG / GLY
prepared for analysis by DLS technique. It was then system using the colorimetric method Tetrazoylium
possible to investigate the hydrodynamic diameter of the bromide 3- [45-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl] 25- Diphenyl
dispersed solid. DLS analyzes were obtained from the Tetrazolium bromide [MTT Sigma St Louis USA],
Zetasizer Nano Z90 equipment (Malvern Instruments, colostrum macrophages (5 × 105 cells) were distributed
Malvern, Worcestershire, United Kingdom), with into plate wells and incubated with their respective
excitation at 632.8 nm. treatments in humidified chamber with 95% air and 5%
2.3 Effect of GLY, NP-PEG and NANO-PEG/GLY on CO2 at 37° C for 2h30min. After incubation the
the functional activity of phagocytes supernatant was removed and each well was added 40 μL
After obtaing written consent, about 15 ml of colostrum of 5 mg.mL-1 MTT and 360 μL of complete culture
were collected from 18 clinically healthy women (18 to 30 medium. The plate was then incubated for 3 h in the same
years), all registered in the health system of Barra do humidified chamber. The supernatant was then discarded
Garças, Mato Grosso, Brazil. All mothers had given birth and 150 μL of DMSO (Dimethylsulfoxide) was added to
to healthy newborns. Colostrum samples were collected in solubilize the Formazan crystals. Optical density was
sterile plastic tubes between 48 and 72 hours postpartum. measured in a plate spectrophotometer using an
All procedures were submitted to the ethics committee for interference filter at 492-630 nm.
evaluation and received approval. 2.7 Bactericidal assay
2.4Macrophages from Human Colostrum Page | 11
International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science (IJAERS) [Vol-5, Issue-5, May- 2018] ISSN: 2349-6495(P) | 2456-1908(O)

Phagocytosis and microbicidal activity were evaluated considered significant when the "p value" was lower than
using the acridine orange method [22]. Equal volumes of 0.05 (p <0.05).
bacteria and cell suspensions were mixed and incubated at
37°C for 30 min under continuous shaking. Phagocytosis III. RESULTS
was stopped by incubation on ice. To eliminate 3.1 DLS analysis of the GLY, NP-PEG AND NANO-
extracellular bacteria, the suspensions were centrifuged PEG/GLY
twice (160 x g, 10 min, 4°C). Cells were resuspended in To evaluate the stability of the NANO-PEG/GLY system
serum-free 199 medium and centrifuged. The supernatant the samples were submitted to potential Zeta and Zetasize
was discarded, and the sediment was dyed with 200 µL tests and the results are showed in the table 1. The tests
acridine orange (Sigma, ST Louis, USA; 14.4 g/L) for 1 were performed at the periods of 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 days.
min. The sediment was resuspended in cold 199 medium, It was observed that the stability of PEG and NANO-
washed twice and observed under immunofluorescence PEG/GLY up to 45 days in relation to arrangement and
microscopy at 400x and 1000x magnification. growth, as well as the average potential of PEG, GLY and
The phagocytosis index was calculated by counting the NANO-PEG/GLY and after 60 days increased the size.
number of cells that ingested at least 3 bacteria in a pool of Biocompatibility and toxicity studies of the GLY, NP-PEG
100 cells. To determine the bactericidal index, we stained and NANO-PEG/GLY complex were evaluated prior to a
the slides with acridine orange and counted 100 cells with potential biomedical use, the cytotoxicity of each stimulus
phagocytized bacteria. The bactericidal index was was examined by acridine orange and MTT assays. Cell
calculated as the ratio between orange- stained [dead] and viability was determined as shown in Fig. 1. The results
green- stained [alive] bacteria x 100. All of the indicate the high biocompatibility of GLY, NP-PEG and
experiments were performed in duplicate. NANO-PEG/GLY. The cell viability index in the presence
2.8 Quantification of cytokines of Gly, NP-PEG and NANO-PEG/GLY was above 85%
The cellular supernatant was collected and stored at −80°C (Fig. 1A and Fig.1B ).
prior to analyses. The samples were thawed and cytokines
(IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17, TNF-α and IFN-γ)
were measured by cytometric bead array [CBA BD
Biosciences USA] according to the manufacturer
procedures. A flow cytometer was used for these analyses
[FACSCalibur BD Biosciences USA]. The data were
analyses used the software FCAP Array 1.0 [CBA BD
Biosciences USA].
2.9 Statistical analysis
Data were expressed as the mean ± standard deviation
(SD). The statistically significant difference was evaluated
using the Analysis of variance [ANOVA] and were Page | 12
International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science (IJAERS) [Vol-5, Issue-5, May- 2018] ISSN: 2349-6495(P) | 2456-1908(O)

3.3 Cytokines concentration in supernatant of culture

of macrophages in the presence of GLY, NP-PEG and
Table 2 shows cytokine levels in the culture supernatant of
3.2 Effects of PEG nanoparticles adsorbed to Glycine colostrum macrophages incubated with the different
on phagocytosis and microbicidal by colostrum cells. stimullus. IL-1β and TNF-α levels increased in GLY and
Phagocytosis rates in colostrum cells treated with glycine NANO-PEG/GLY groups. The levels of IL-12 and IL-17
and in the presence of EPEC was higher than in cells from also increased in the macrophages cultures under the
non-treated phagocytes (Fig. 2A). Colostrum macrophages NANO-PEG/GLY treatment. In the supernatant cell
treated with GLY and PEG-NANO-GLY showed higher culture IL-8 and IFN-γ levels were similar among the
microbicidal indices in the presence of EPEC than the non- treatments.
treated phagocytes. The higest microbicidal index were
observed in macerophages treated with PEG-NANO-GLY
(Fig. 2B)

IV. DISCUSSION on material in relation the morphology, size,

The synthesis of functional materials in nanoscale has been functionalities and properties [24]. Functional materials
increasing interest in the research, due control mechanisms such as polymers that are produced on nanometer scale as Page | 13
International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science (IJAERS) [Vol-5, Issue-5, May- 2018] ISSN: 2349-6495(P) | 2456-1908(O)
well as PEG nanoparticles can be used in drug delivery macrophages. Studies have shown the immunomodulatory
control [25]. Nanoparticles based on polymeric substances potential of glycine and its cytoprotective capacity to
can be used in the clinical administration of drugs and / or combat infectious and inflammatory processes in various
other bioactive substances due to their incorporation organs and tissues [31]. The NANO-PEG / GLY complex
capacity [26,27]. This study it was verified the that was more efficient at potentiating bacteria death than
nanoparticles of PEG adsorbed glycine, and that this glycine treatment alone, thus demonstrating the system's
material acts as an immunomodulator on the functional immunomodulatory capacity against inflammatory
activity of human colostrum cells. The analysis of the processes. Soluble components present in colostrum
NANO-PEG/GLY system was performed by Dynamic interacts with cells and can increase the microbicidal
Light Scattering (DLS) and Zeta Potential and showed activity [34]. Human colostrum and breast milk are rich in
that this material maintained stability for 45 days in active biological compounds that are essential for pro-
relation to arrangement and growth and increased the size oxidative functions. Macrophages also participate in
after 60 days. Drug delivery is controlled by two main inflammatory response by releasing cytokines and factors
factors: pore size and drug concentration. It is important to that promote cell recruitment to the injured tissue or
understand the physical and chemical properties in the inflammation site or during the infection [36]. In our work
synthesis of neomaterials. It known that PEG nanoscale we have showed that macrophages in presence of NANO-
particle formulations can allow the control of the speed at PEG/GLY complex increase both cytokines with activity
which the drug is released from the polymer matrix [28]. pro-inflammatory such IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α and
In this sense the PEG nanoparticles have a high potential cytokines anti-inflammatory as IL-10 suggeting a balance
in the hormone transport system [19,20]. This material has between these mediators, since it is characteristic of the
biocompatible characteristics their degradation products do immunological components of colostrum act together
not present toxicity and are easily metabolized and without causing an inflammatory response [37]. Interesting
excreted by natural physiological pathways [29]. Several that the macrophages in presence of NANO-PEG/GLY
classes of drugs and bioactive compounds, such as complex increase de IL-17. This cytokines is typical
enzymes, cytokines, antibodies and glycine, are produced by the Th17 T cell subset, but study has
significantly improved by the pegylation effect demonstrate that macrophages also express Th17 cytokines
(PEGylation) and can bind to amines [30]. Interactions [38]. In general, the effects of Th17 and the mechanism
between amino acids and delivery mechanisms of underlying its action in conditions of systemic
bioactive compounds have been reported in the literature. inflammation. On the other the presence of IL-17 impairs
Glycine is known for its anti-inflammatory and monocyte/macrophage apoptosis and induces intense
immunomodulatory properties [7,31]. The effectiveness of differentiation, guaranteeing efficient removal of apoptotic
association of bioactive substances with the polymer neutrophils and restoration of anti-inflammatory
matrix increased the ability to obtain new formulations and conditions and suggest an unexpected role of IL-17 in the
activate the immune system [19]. In our experimental resolution of inflammation [39], that can be important
model we employed colostrum cells considering that during the phagocitosis and microbicidal process by
glycine is present in secretion [32] and that can occur macrophages. Glycine has therapeutic properties in many
easily interactions between this amino acid and this cells models of inflammatory processes [40]. However,
reproducing a natural environment. Our results confirm cytokines are mediators necessary to conduct the
that interaction of NANO-PEG/GLY with colostrum inflammatory response to the sites of infection. The
macrophages, independent of method used, did not affect exaggerated production of proinflammatory cytokines
the viability suggesting that this system is non-toxic and from the lesion may manifest systemically with
can be acts as immunomodulator. The mechanisms of hemodynamic instability or metabolic disorders. Here the
activation of human colostrum phagocytes depend on microbicidal activity promoted by the presence of NANO-
some signals and stimuli emitted by biologically active PEG/GLY in phagocytes associated with the balance
molecules that mediates the signals that lead to the between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory
production of oxygen free radicals and to the phagocytosis cytokines may have important clinical implications during
process [33,34]. Phagocytosis and microbicidal activity are the infections.
important defense mechanisms against several
pathological agents such as: virus, bacteria, protozoa V. CONCLUSION
infectious and inflammatory processes [7,23, 34, 35]. In The date suggest that NANO-PEG particles produced
this study, the adsorbed glycine PEG nanoparticles were were able to adsorb the amino acid glycine, and this new
able to modulate the functional activity of human bioengineered material is capable of modulating the
colostrum phagocytes. NANO-PEG/GLY complex functional activity of human colostrum macrophages and
increase the microbicidal activity by colostrum Page | 14
International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science (IJAERS) [Vol-5, Issue-5, May- 2018] ISSN: 2349-6495(P) | 2456-1908(O)
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