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Codelivery of doxorubicin and curcumin with lipid nanoparticles results in improved efficacy of chemotherapy in liver cancer

Authors Zhao XJ, Chen Q, Liu W, Li YS, Tang HB, Liu XH, Yang XL

Received 27 August 2014

Accepted for publication 16 October 2014

Published 30 December 2014 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 257—270

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S73322

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster

Xiaojing Zhao,1,2,* Qi Chen,3,* Wei Liu,1,2 Yusang Li,3 Hebin Tang,3 Xuhan Liu,1,2 Xiangliang Yang1,2

1College of Life Science and Technology, 2National Engineering Research Center for Nanomedicine, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 3Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Liver cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The combination therapy of cytotoxic and chemosensitizing agents loaded in nanoparticles has been highlighted as an effective treatment for different cancers. However, such studies in liver cancer remain very limited. In our study, we aim to develop a novel lipid nanoparticles loaded with doxorubicin (DOX) (an effective drug for liver cancer) and curcumin (Cur) (a chemosensitizer) simultaneously, and we examined the efficacy of chemotherapy in liver cancer. DOX and Cur codelivery lipid nanoparticles (DOX/Cur-NPs) were successfully prepared using a high-pressure microfluidics technique, showing a mean particle size of around 90 nm, a polydispersity index <0.3, and a zeta potential <−10 mV. The encapsulation efficacy was >90% for both DOX and Cur. The blank lipid nanoparticles were nontoxic, as determined by a cell cytotoxicity study in human normal liver cells L02 and liver cancer cells HepG2. In vitro DOX release studies revealed a sustained-release pattern until 48 hours in DOX/Cur-NPs. We found enhanced cytotoxicity and decreased inhibitory concentration (IC)50 in HepG2 cells and reduced cytotoxicity in L02 cells treated with DOX/Cur-NPs, suggesting the synergistic effects of DOX/Cur-NPs compared with free DOX and DOX nanoparticles (NPs). The optimal weight ratio of DOX and Cur was 1:1. Annexin-V-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide double staining showed enhanced apoptosis in HepG2 cells treated with DOX/Cur-NPs compared with free DOX and DOX-NPs. An in vivo experiment showed the synergistic effect of DOX/Cur-NPs compared with DOX-NPs on liver tumor growth inhibition. Taken together, the simultaneous delivery of DOX and Cur by DOX/Cur-NPs might be a promising treatment for liver cancer.

Keywords: doxorubicin, curcumin, codelivery, liver cancer, cytotoxicity, tumor growth inhibition

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