Back to Journals » International Journal of Nanomedicine » Volume 6

Comparative study of the in vitro and in vivo characteristics of cationic and neutral liposomes

Authors Zhao, Zhuang, Qi X

Published 1 December 2011 Volume 2011:6 Pages 3087—3098


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Wei Zhao, Song Zhuang, Xian-Rong Qi
Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Neutral liposomes (NLP) exhibit preferential localization in solid tumors based on the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect. Cationic liposomes (CLP) have a propensity for localizing in newly formed tumor vessels and they have a potentially enhanced antitumor effect. However, an increased amount of cationic lipids in liposomes also induces aggregation through electrostatic interactions between the liposomes and the anionic species in the circulation, which results in a reduced EPR effect. Consequently, it is important to investigate the characteristics of liposomes with different surface potentials in vitro to achieve an optimal intratumoral distribution and antitumor effect in vivo. In this study, the authors evaluated the characteristics of doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded NLPs, CLPs, polyethylene glycol (PEG)-modified NLPs (NLP-PEG), and PEGylated CLPs (CLP-PEG) (ie, encapsulation efficacy, zeta potential, size, membrane fluidity, aggregation in serum, and uptake of liposomes into rat aortic endothelial cells (RAECs)) to further understand their influences on the pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and antitumor therapy in vivo. The results showed that increased amounts of cationic lipids resulted in severe liposome aggregation in the presence of serum, yet it did not alter the membrane fluidity to a large extent. The uptake of liposomes into RAECs, visualized by confocal fluorescence microscopy, confirmed the rapid uptake of CLP by the endothelial cells compared with NLP. However, the pharmacokinetics, biodistribution and anticancer efficacies of these liposomes in vivo revealed that the CLP with highly positive surface potentials exhibited reduced circulation times and poor distribution in tumors. The NLP-PEG exhibited the highest anticancer efficacy; CLP-PEG, the second highest; and CLP with the most positive surface potential, the lowest. These phenomena were mostly due to the rapid aggregation in serum and subsequent accumulation in the lungs upon the intravenous injection of the CLP. Caution should be exercised when chemotherapeutic drugs are loaded into CLP for tumor therapy.

Keywords: cationic liposomes, PEGylation, electrostatic interaction, aggregation, anticancer efficacy, biodistribution

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Readers of this article also read:

A cross-sectional study on perception of stigma by Chinese schizophrenia patients [Expression of concern]

Ren ZB, Wang HQ, Feng B, Gu CY, Ma YC, Chen H, Li BL, Liu LY

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2014, 10:1333-1334

Published Date: 18 July 2014

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone

Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5719-5724

Published Date: 12 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012


Chen ZQ, Liu Y, Zhao JH, Wang L, Feng NP

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:1709-1710

Published Date: 30 March 2012

Crystallization after intravitreal ganciclovir injection

Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:709-711

Published Date: 14 July 2010