J Nanobiotechnology. 2023 Jan 17;21(1):18. doi: 10.1186/s12951-022-01758-2.
The occurrence of osteoarthritis (OA) is highly correlated with the reduction of joint lubrication performance, in which persistent excessive inflammation and irreversible destruction of cartilage dominate the mechanism. The inadequate response to monotherapy methods, suboptimal efficacy caused by undesirable bioavailability, short retention, and lack of stimulus-responsiveness, are few unresolved issues. Herein, we report a pH-responsive metal-organic framework (MOF), namely, MIL-101-NH2, for the co-delivery of anti-inflammatory drug curcumin (CCM) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) for hypoxia inducible factor (HIF-2α). CCM and siRNA were loaded via encapsulation and surface coordination ability of MIL-101-NH2. Our vitro tests showed that MIL-101-NH2 protected siRNA from nuclease degradation by lysosomal escape. The pH-responsive MIL-101-NH2 gradually collapsed in an acidic OA microenvironment to release the CCM payloads to down-regulate the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and to release the siRNA payloads to cleave the target HIF-2α mRNA for gene-silencing therapy, ultimately exhibiting the synergetic therapeutic efficacy by silencing HIF-2α genes accompanied by inhibiting the inflammation response and cartilage degeneration of OA. The hybrid material reported herein exhibited promising potential performance for OA therapy as supported by both in vitro and in vivo studies and may offer an efficacious therapeutic strategy for OA utilizing MOFs as host materials.