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In vitro and in vivo evaluation of folate receptor-targeting amphiphilic copolymer-modified liposomes loaded with docetaxel

Authors Li X, Tian X, Zhang J, Zhao X, Chen X, Jiang Y, Wang D, Pan W

Published 9 June 2011 Volume 2011:6 Pages 1167—1184

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S21445

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Xiang Li1, Xin Tian2, Jing Zhang3, Xu Zhao1, Xiaohui Chen1, Youhong Jiang2, Dongkai Wang1, Weisan Pan1
1Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang; 2The Second Laboratory of Cancer Research Institution, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang; 3Key Laboratory of Modern Preparation of TCM, Ministry of Education, Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanchang, China

Background: The purpose of this study was to develop folate-poly (PEG-cyanoacrylate-co-cholesteryl cyanoacrylate) (FA-PEG-PCHL)-modified freeze-dried liposomes for targeted chemotherapy using docetaxel as a model drug.
Methods: FA-PEG-PCHL was synthesized and its cytotoxicity was evaluated by CCK-8 assay in L929. Docetaxel-loaded liposomes modified by FA-PEG-PCHL were prepared by an organic solvent injection method and lyophilized to obtain freeze-dried FA-PEG-PCHL-docetaxel liposomes (FA-PDCT-L). Two carcinoma cell lines (MCF-7 and A-549 cells) were cultured with docetaxel solution, conventional docetaxel-loaded liposomes, or FA-PDCT-L, and the cytotoxicity and apoptosis was evaluated for each preparation. The uptake of the docetaxel preparations into MCF-7 cells was studied by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to study the pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution characteristics of the preparations.
Results: The existence of an enlarged fixed aqueous layer on the surface of the liposomes was affirmed by zeta potential analysis. The entrapment efficiency and particle size distribution were almost the same as those of docetaxel-loaded liposomes. The drug release profile showed that the release rate was faster at higher molecular weight of the polymer. Compared with docetaxel solution and docetaxel-loaded liposomes, FA-PDCT-L demonstrated the strongest cytotoxicity against two carcinoma cell lines, the greatest intracellular uptake especially in the nucleus, as well as the most powerful apoptotic efficacy. In pharmacokinetic studies, the area under the plasma concentration-time curve of FA-PDCT-L was increased 3.82 and 6.23 times in comparison with the values for the docetaxel-loaded liposomes and docetaxel solution, respectively. Meanwhile, a lower concentration of docetaxel was observed for FA-PDCT-L in the liver and spleen, and a significantly higher concentration of FA-PDCT-L in tumors suggested that the presence of FA-PEG-PCHL on the liposomes resulted in greater accumulation of the drug in tumor tissue.
Conclusion: Liposomes modified by FA-PEG-PCHL could be one of the promising suspensions for the delivery of antitumor drugs in cancer.

Keywords: folate-poly (PEG-cyanoacrylate-co-cholesteryl cyanoacrylate), docetaxel, freeze-dried liposomes, tumor targeting

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