Chronic kidney disease is marked by progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), a condition characterized by the formation of large mass-like conglomerates. Recent developments in CKD therapy suggest that the targeted prevention of the profibrotic cell phenotype is essential in developing sustainable CKD therapy. Nanoparticles could deliver potential therapies to damaged tissues, but more research on the topic is needed. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of multifunctional natural polymer nanoparticles as anti-fibrotic gene carriers for CKD therapy.

The focus of this study was to deliver plasmid DNA expressing bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7) or hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)–NK1 (HGF/NK1) by encapsulation within chitosan nanoparticles coated with hyaluronan. The researchers evaluated nanoparticles in-vitro for anti-fibrotic function and biocompatibility.

The findings suggested that the synthesis of hyaluronan-coated chitosan nanoparticles containing plasmid DNA expressing either BMP7 or NGF/NKI was associated with nanoparticles that promoted cell growth and restricted fibrotic gene expression in vitro. The nanoparticles further inhibited the development of fibrosis and revived renal function in unilateral ureteral obstruction models.

The research concluded that nanoparticle delivery of HGF/NK1 resulted in significant anti-fibrotic and generative effects. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that nanoparticles can be used for CKD therapy.