Attenuation of neutrophil-mediated liver injury in mice by drug-free E-selectin binding polymer

Nenad Milošević, Marie Rütter, Yvonne Ventura, Yarden Kezerle, Valeria Feinshtein, Ayelet David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Inflammation with neutrophils infiltration is a prominent feature of alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) and contributes to the severity of liver injury. Although an array of potential treatments has been studied, the standard treatment regimen is controversial and can induce severe side effects and infection-related complications. E-selectin, a cytokine inducible cell adhesion molecule, mediates the initial interaction of leucocytes with endothelial cells, and facilitates their further adhesion and extravasation into inflamed tissues. Given the important role of E-selectin in leukocytes trafficking, we hypothesized that a synthetic polymer presenting multiple copies of E-selectin binding peptide in a polyvalent manner (P-Esbp) may block the “roads” that facilitate neutrophil infiltration, inhibit the recruitment of neutrophils to the inflamed sites and reduce the extent of liver injury. We now demonstrate in vitro that P-Esbp reduced the recruitment of neutrophils (collected from blood of donors) on activated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) under flow conditions. Pre-treatment of mice with P-Esbp prior to alcohol binge attenuated alcohol-induced serum transaminase (ALT, AST) elevation, reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFα and IL-1ẞ) and chemokines (MIP-2/CXCL2 and MCP-1/CCL2) in National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) model. Also, the up-regulation of neutrophil marker Ly6G and the number of MPO positive cells in the injured tissue was significantly reduced by the treatment, indicating diminished neutrophil infiltration. Moreover, as a result of P-Esbp treatment, E-selectin expression in the liver (mRNA and protein level) was downregulated, suggesting a potential to decrease ongoing local inflammatory response. Overall, our findings highlight the anti-inflammatory properties of the “drug-free” P-Esbp and its therapeutic potential to attenuate an excessive inflammation where infiltrating neutrophils can damage tissues and organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - 10 Mar 2020


  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Drug-free polymer therapeutics
  • Inflammation
  • Liver injury
  • NIAAA model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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