C80, a MRI contrast agent and an effective radical and superoxide anion) scavenger

Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of trimetallic nitride endohedral fullerenes carboxyl-Gd3N@C80, a newly developed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent, were investigated. All hydrochalarone and carboxyl-functionalized fullerenes showed effective radical (hydroxyl and superoxide anion) scavenging, whereas the carboxyl-Gd3N@C80 more efficiently attenuated lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced oxidative stress in macrophages. Carboxyl-Gd3N@C80 also suppressed LPS-elicited mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory inducible nitric oxide synthase and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and upregulated antioxidative enzyme axis Nrf2 and heme oxygenase-1, possibly via ERK but not AKT signaling pathways. Therefore, carboxyl-Gd3N@C80 held a great promise in becoming a novel theranostic nanoplatform for simultaneously deliver MRI contrast and therapeutic functions to inflammation-related diseases.