Polyphenols are natural compounds capable of interfering with the inflammatory pathways of several in vitro model systems. In this study, we developed a stable and effective strategy to administer polyphenols to treat in vivo models of acute intestinal inflammation. The in vitro suppressive properties of several polyphenols were first tested and compared for dendritic cells (DCs) production of inflammatory cytokines. A combination of the polyphenols, quercetin and piperine, were then encapsulated into reconstituted oil bodies (OBs) in order to increase their stability. Our results showed that administration of low dose reconstituted polyphenol OBs inhibited LPS-mediated inflammatory cytokine secretion, including IL-6, IL-23, and IL-12, while increasing IL-10 and IL-1Rα production. Mice treated with the polyphenol-containing reconstituted OBs (ROBs) were partially protected from dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis and associated weight loss, while mortality and inflammatory scores revealed an overall anti-inflammatory effect that was likely mediated by impaired DC immune responses. Our study indicates that the administration of reconstituted quercetin and piperine-containing OBs may represent an effective and potent anti-inflammatory strategy to treat acute intestinal inflammation.
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