Extracellular vesicle-encapsulated IL-10 as novel nanotherapeutics against ischemic AKI.
Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been attracting strong research interest for use as natural drug delivery systems. We report an approach to manufacturing interleukin-10 (IL-10)-loaded EVs (IL-10+ EVs) by engineering macrophages for treating ischemic acute kidney injury (AKI). Delivery of IL-10 via EVs enhanced not only the stability of IL-10, but also its targeting to the kidney due to the adhesive components on the EV surface. Treatment with IL-10+ EVs significantly ameliorated renal tubular injury and inflammation caused by ischemia/reperfusion injury, and potently prevented the transition to chronic kidney disease. Mechanistically, IL-10+ EVs targeted tubular epithelial cells, and suppressed mammalian target of rapamycin signaling, thereby promoting mitophagy to maintain mitochondrial fitness. Moreover, IL-10+ EVs efficiently drove M2 macrophage polarization by targeting macrophages in the tubulointerstitium. Our study demonstrates that EVs can serve as a promising delivery platform to manipulate IL-10 for the effective treatment of ischemic AKI.