An intestinal Trojan horse for gene delivery
The intestinal epithelium forms an essential element of the mucosal barrier and plays a critical role in the pathophysiological response to different enteric disorders and diseases. As a major enteric dysfunction of the intestinal tract, inflammatory bowel disease is a genetic disease which results from the inappropriate and exaggerated mucosal immune response to the normal constituents in the mucosal microbiota environment. An intestine targeted drug delivery system has unique advantages in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. As a new concept in drug delivery, the Trojan horse system with the synergy of nanotechnology and host cells can achieve better therapeutic efficacy in specific diseases. Here, we demonstrated the feasibility of encapsulating DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles into primary isolated intestinal stem cells to form an intestinal Trojan horse for gene regulation therapy of inflammatory bowel disease. This proof-of-concept intestinal Trojan horse will have a wide variety of applications in the diagnosis and therapy of enteric disorders and diseases.