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Biodegradable micelles enhance the antiglioma activity of curcumin in vitro and in vivo

Authors Zheng S, Xiang Gao X, Liu X, Yu T, Zheng T, Wang Y, You C

Received 14 December 2015

Accepted for publication 29 January 2016

Published 9 June 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 2721—2736

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S102450

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Zhengjian Lv

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Songping Zheng,1,* Xiang Gao,1,2,* Xiaoxiao Liu,1 Ting Yu,1 Tianying Zheng,1 Yi Wang,1 Chao You1

1Department of Neurosurgery, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pharmacology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Curcumin (Cur), a natural polyphenol of Curcuma longa, has been recently reported to possess antitumor activities. However, due to its poor aqueous solubility and low biological availability, the clinical application of Cur is quite limited. The encapsulation of hydrophobic drugs into nanoparticles is an effective way to improve their pharmaceutical activities. In this research, nanomicelles loaded with Cur were formulated by a self-assembly method with biodegradable monomethoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactide) copolymers (MPEG-PLAs). After encapsulation, the cellular uptake was increased and Cur could be released from MPEG-PLA micelles in a sustained manner. The Cur-loaded MPEG-PLA micelles (Cur/MPEG-PLA micelles) exhibited an enhanced toxicity on C6 and U251 glioma cells and induced more apoptosis on C6 glioma cells compared with free Cur. Moreover, the therapy efficiency of Cur/MPEG-PLA micelles was evaluated at length on a nude mouse model bearing glioma. The Cur/MPEG-PLA micelles were more effective on suppressing tumor growth compared with free Cur, which indicated that Cur/MPEG-PLA micelles improved the antiglioma activity of Cur in vivo. The results of immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent analysis indicated that the induction of apoptosis, antiangiogenesis, and inhibition of cell proliferation may contribute to the improvement in antiglioma effects. Our data suggested that Cur/MPEG-PLA may have potential clinic applications in glioma therapy.

Keywords: curcumin, glioma, cell apoptosis, cell proliferation, angiogenesis 

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