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In Vitro Evaluation Of Curcumin-Encapsulated Chitosan Nanoparticles Against Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus And Pharmacokinetics Study In Cats

Shing Wei Ng, Gayathri Thevi Selvarajah, Mohd Zobir Hussein, Swee Keong Yeap, Abdul Rahman Omar

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Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is an important feline viral disease, causing an overridden inflammatory response that results in a high mortality rate, primarily in young cats. Curcumin is notable for its biological activities against various viral diseases; however, its poor bioavailability has hindered its potential in therapeutic application. In this study, curcumin was encapsulated in chitosan nanoparticles to improve its bioavailability. Curcumin-encapsulated chitosan (Cur-CS) nanoparticles were synthesised based on the ionic gelation technique and were spherical and cuboidal in shape, with an average particle size of 330 nm and +42 mV in zeta potential. The nanoparticles exerted lower toxicity in Crandell-Rees feline kidney (CrFK) cells and enhanced antiviral activities with a selective index (SI) value three times higher than that of curcumin. Feline-specific bead-based multiplex immunoassay and qPCR were used to examine their modulatory effects on proinflammatory cytokines, including tumour necrosis factor (TNF)α, interleukin- (IL-) 6, and IL-1β. There were significant decrements in IL-1β, IL-6, and TNFα expression in both curcumin and Cur-CS nanoparticles. Based on the multiplex immunoassay, curcumin and the Cur-CS nanoparticles could lower the immune-related proteins in FIP virus (FIPV) infection. The single- and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics profiles of curcumin and the Cur-CS nanoparticles were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Oral delivery of the Cur-CS nanoparticles to cats showed enhanced bioavailability with a maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) value of 621.5 ng/mL. Incorporating chitosan nanoparticles to deliver curcumin improved the oral bioavailability and antiviral effects of curcumin against FIPV infection. This study provides evidence for the potential of Cur-CS nanoparticles as a supplementary treatment of FIP.