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Destruction of vasculogenic mimicry channels by targeting epirubicin plus celecoxib liposomes in treatment of brain glioma

Authors Ju R, Zeng F, Liu L, Mu L, Xie H, Zhao Y, Yan Y, Wu J, Hu Y, Lu W

Received 14 August 2015

Accepted for publication 12 January 2016

Published 21 March 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1131—1146


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Rui-Jun Ju,1,2,* Fan Zeng,1,* Lei Liu,1 Li-Min Mu,1 Hong-Jun Xie,1 Yao Zhao,1 Yan Yan,1 Jia-Shuan Wu,1 Ying-Jie Hu,1 Wan-Liang Lu1

1Beijing Key Laboratory of Molecular Pharmaceutics and New Drug System, State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, 2Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: The efficacy of chemotherapy for brain glioma is restricted by the blood–brain barrier (BBB), and surgery or radiotherapy cannot eliminate the glioma cells because of their unique location. Residual brain glioma cells can form vasculogenic mimicry (VM) channels that can cause a recurrence of brain glioma. In the present study, targeting liposomes incorporating epirubicin and celecoxib were prepared and used for the treatment of brain glioma, along with the destruction of their VM channels. Evaluations were performed on the human brain glioma U87MG cells in vitro and on intracranial brain glioma-bearing nude mice. Targeting epirubicin plus celecoxib liposomes in the circulatory blood system were able to be transported across the BBB, and accumulated in the brain glioma region. Then, the liposomes were internalized by brain glioma cells and killed glioma cells by direct cytotoxic injury and the induction of apoptosis. The induction of apoptosis was related to the activation of caspase-8- and -3-signaling pathways, the activation of the proapoptotic protein Bax, and the suppression of the antiapoptotic protein Mcl-1. The destruction of brain glioma VM channels was related to the downregulation of VM channel-forming indictors, which consisted of MMP-2, MMP-9, FAK, VE-Cad, and VEGF. The results demonstrated that the targeting epirubicin plus celecoxib liposomes were able to effectively destroy the glioma VM channels and exhibited significant efficacy in the treatment of intracranial glioma-bearing nude mice. Therefore, targeting epirubicin plus celecoxib liposomes could be a potential nanostructured formulation to treat gliomas and destroy their VM channels.

Keywords: brain glioma, vasculogenic mimicry channels, targeting liposomes, epirubicin, celecoxib

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