Chitosan nanoparticles deliver nucleic acid structures to macrophages effectively

Fatemeh Karami,1,* Yaser mansoori,2

1. Department of Microbiology, Arsenjan Azad University
2. Department of Medical Genetics, Fasa University of Medical Sciences



Macrophages are one of the main antigen presenting cells (apcs) with important regulatory functions. chitosan nanoparticles could potentially deliver drugs and genes to the cells including macrophages.


In the present study we prepared fitc labeled scramble sirna encapsulated chitosan nanoparticles by coacervation process method. peritoneal macrophages were isolated from peritoneal cavity lavage of balb/c mice. chitosan/sirna nps were exposed to macrophages for 6 hrs (10 mg sirna/106 cell/ml) and the nps uptake was determined by flowcytometery. after 24 hrs of exposure expression of cd40, cd86 and mhc-ii co-stimulatory molecules were evaluated by flowcytometry. nitric oxide (no) production examined using the griess reaction. tnf-α level in the culture supernatants were determined using elisa method.


Chitosan nps were effectively up taken by macrophages (<90% of the cells). expression of cd40, cd86 and mhc-ii co-stimulatory molecules were significantly enhanced by nps exposure (p<0.05). treated macrophages significantly produce more no (p<0.05) and also tnf-α release (p<0.05).


The results of our study demonstrated that chitosan/sirna nanoparticles can effectively deliver the nucleotides to the macrophages and the same time induces maturation of macrophages. this strategy can provide an effective method for delivery of drugs and genes for therapeutic purposes.


Macrophages; chirosan; nanopartocles; sirna