Nanoparticle-mediated catalase delivery protects human neurons from oxidative stress

A. Singhal, V. B. Morris, V. Labhasetwar, A. Ghorpade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Several neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury involve reactive oxygen species and implicate oxidative stress in disease mechanisms. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) formation due to mitochondrial superoxide leakage perpetuates oxidative stress in neuronal injury. Catalase, an H 2O2-degrading enzyme, thus remains an important antioxidant therapy target. However, catalase therapy is restricted by its labile nature and inadequate delivery. Here, a nanotechnology approach was evaluated using catalase-loaded, poly(lactic co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (NPs) in human neuronal protection against oxidative damage. This study showed highly efficient catalase encapsulation capable of retainingB99% enzymatic activity. NPs released catalase rapidly, and antioxidant activity was sustained for over a month. NP uptake in human neurons was rapid and nontoxic. Although human neurons were highly sensitive to H2O2, NP-mediated catalase delivery successfully protected cultured neurons from H 2O2-induced oxidative stress. Catalase-loaded NPs significantly reduced H2O2-induced protein oxidation, DNA damage, mitochondrial membrane transition pore opening and loss of cell membrane integrity and restored neuronal morphology, neurite network and microtubule-associated protein-2 levels. Further, catalase-loaded NPs improved neuronal recovery from H2O2 pre-exposure better than free catalase, suggesting possible applications in ameliorating stroke-relevant oxidative stress. Brain targeting of catalase-loaded NPs may find wide therapeutic applications for oxidative stress-associated acute and chronic neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere903
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Catalase
  • Human neurons
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Neuroprotection
  • Oxidative stress
  • PLGA nanoparticles


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