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Formulation, antileukemia mechanism, pharmacokinetics, and biodistribution of a novel liposomal emodin

Authors Wang T, Yin X, Lu Y, Shan W, Xiong S

Received 20 February 2012

Accepted for publication 12 March 2012

Published 8 May 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 2325—2337

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S31029

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Tiechuang Wang1, Xiaodong Yin2, Yaping Lu1, Weiguang Shan1, Subin Xiong1

1College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China; 2Baxter International Inc, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Emodin is a multifunctional Chinese traditional medicine with poor water solubility. D-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS) is a pegylated vitamin E derivate. In this study, a novel liposomal-emodin-conjugating TPGS was formulated and compared with methoxypolyethyleneglycol 2000-derivatized distearoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (mPEG2000–DSPE) liposomal emodin. TPGS improved the encapsulation efficiency and stability of emodin egg phosphatidylcholine/cholesterol liposomes. A high encapsulation efficiency of 95.2% ± 3.0%, particle size of 121.1 ± 44.9 nm, spherical ultrastructure, and sustained in vitro release of TPGS liposomal emodin were observed; these were similar to mPEG2000–DSPE liposomes. Only the zeta potential of –13.1 ± 2.7 mV was significantly different to that for mPEG2000–DSPE liposomes. Compared to mPEG2000–DSPE liposomes, TPGS liposomes improved the cytotoxicity of emodin on leukemia cells by regulating the protein levels of myeloid cell leukemia 1 (Mcl-1), B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and Bcl-2-associated X protein, which was further enhanced by transferrin. TPGS liposomes prolonged the circulation time of emodin in the blood, with the area under the concentration–time curve (AUC) 1.7 times larger than for free emodin and 0.91 times larger than for mPEG2000–DSPE liposomes. In addition, TPGS liposomes showed higher AUC for emodin in the lung and kidney than for mPEG2000–DSPE liposomes, and both liposomes elevated the amount of emodin in the heart. Overall, TPGS is a pegylated agent that could potentially be used to compose a stable liposomal emodin with enhanced therapeutics.

Keywords: emodin, liposomes, TPGS, mPEG2000–DSPE, leukemia, transferrin

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