Zein nanoparticles for oral delivery of quercetin: pharmacokinetic studies and preventive anti-inflammatory effects in a mouse model of endotoxemia
Zein nanoparticles were evaluated as nanocarriers to promote the oral bioavailability of quercetin and, thus, improve its anti-inflammatory effect on a mouse model of induced endotoxemia. For this purpose, the flavonoid and 2-hydroxypropyl-ß-cyclodextrin were encapsulated in zein nanoparticles. The resulting nanoparticles displayed a mean size of about 300nm and the payload was calculated to be close to 70¿g/mg nanoparticle. The release of quercetin from zein nanoparticles followed a zero-order kinetic. After oral administration, nanoparticles provided high and sustained levels of quercetin in plasma and the relative oral bioavailability was calculated to be approx. 60%. Animals treated with quercetin-loaded nanoparticles (1 dose every two days; 1week) presented endotoxic symptoms less severe than those observed in animals treated with the oral solution of the flavonoid (1 dose every day; 1week). This was further corroborated by the significantly low circulating TNF-alpha in the quercetin-loaded nanoparticles treated mice.