A novel submicron emulsion system loaded with vincristine–oleic acid ion-pair complex with improved anticancer effect: in vitro and in vivo studies
Ting Zhang,1 Yong Zheng,2 Qiang Peng,3 Xi Cao,1 Tao Gong,1 Zhirong Zhang1
1Key Laboratory of Drug Targeting and Drug Delivery Systems, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 2Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China; 3State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China
Background: Vincristine (VCR), which is a widely used antineoplastic drug, was integrated with a submicron-emulsion drug-delivery system to enhance the anticancer effect.
Methods: After the formation of a VCR–oleic acid ion-pair complex (VCR-OA), the VCR-OA-loaded submicron emulsion (VCR-OA-SME), prepared by classical high-pressure homogenization, was characterized and its in vitro anticancer effects were evaluated.
Results: The submicron-emulsion formulation exhibited a homogeneous round shape. The mean particle size, zeta potential, and encapsulation efficiency were 157.6 ± 12.6 nm, −26.5 ± 5.0 mV and 78.64% ± 3.44%, respectively. An in vitro release study of the VCR-OA-SME revealed that 12.4% of the VCR was released within the first 2 hours (initial burst-release phase) and the rest of the drug was detected in the subsequent sustained-release phase. Compared with VCR solution, the pharmacokinetic study of VCR-OA-SME showed relatively longer mean residence time (mean residence time [0–∞] increased from 187.19 to 227.56 minutes), higher maximum concentration (from 252.13 ng/mL to 533.34 ng/mL), and greater area under the curve (area under the curve [0–∞] from 11,417.77 µg/L/minute to 17,164.34 µg/L/minute. Moreover, the VCR-OA-SME exhibited higher cytotoxicity (P < 0.05) on tumor cells by inducing cell arrest in the G2/M phase or even apoptosis (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The VCR-OA-SME formulation in our study displayed great potential for an anticancer effect for VCR.
Keywords: ion-pair complex, submicron emulsion, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, cell uptake
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