The active form of vitamin D3, 1,25(OH)2D3 has been found to exert multiple effects on the suppression of progression of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Vitamin D3 has been gathering attention as a therapy for IBD. However, the clinical trials conducted to date revealed that a relatively high dosage of vitamin D3 was required to see a significant therapeutic effect. Thus, effective formulation and delivery of vitamin D3 to colonic inflammatory lesions will be required. Herein we describe the preparation of a nanostructured lipid carrier (NLC) for the encapsulation of 1,25(OH)2D3 for colonic delivery via oral administration. The optimized fabrication procedure enabled the incorporation of 1,25(OH)2D3 in the NLC by minimizing the destruction of chemically unstable 1,25(OH)2D3. The obtained NLCs orally delivered 1,25(OH)2D3 to the colon in mice and maintained a high concentration of 1,25(OH)2D3 in the colonic tissue for at least 12 h. The NLC showed multiple effects on the suppression of symptoms of colitis induced by dextran sodium sulfate, namely maintaining crypt structure, reducing the tissue concentration of inflammatory cytokines, suppressing the infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes, and augmenting anti-inflammatory CX3CR1high macrophages. Our NLCs containing 1,25(OH)2D3 may be an alternative treatment for IBD therapy.
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