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Kidney-targeted drug delivery via rhein-loaded polyethyleneglycol-co-polycaprolactone-co-polyethyleneimine nanoparticles for diabetic nephropathy therapy

Authors Chen DF, Han SP, Zhu YQ, Hu F, Wei YH, Wang GW

Received 24 February 2018

Accepted for publication 21 April 2018

Published 19 June 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 3507—3527


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lijie Zhang

Danfei Chen,1 Shunping Han,2,3 Yongqin Zhu,1 Fang Hu,1 Yinghui Wei,3 Guowei Wang3,4

1Department of Pediatrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, 310006 China; 2Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, London, UK; 3College of Pharmaceutical Science, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, 310053 China; 4College of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310007 China

Introduction: Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the primary root of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. Unfortunately, currently, no effective therapeutic strategies are available to ameliorate and reverse the progression of DN. Rhein (RH) is an anthraquinone derivative extracted from herbal medicines with various pharmacological effects on DN. However, its clinical administration is limited by its poor solubility, low bioavailability, reduced distribution into the kidney and adverse effects.
Methods and results: To improve the delivery of RH into kidney and the therapeutic effect on DN, we synthesized and utilized polyethyleneglycol-co-polycaprolactone-co-polyethylenimine triblock amphiphilic polymers to prepare RH-loaded polyethyleneglycol-co-polycaprolactone-co-polyethylenimine nanoparticles (PPP-RH-NPs). PPP-RH-NP size was optimized to 75 ± 25 nm for kidney-targeted drug delivery; the positive zeta potential allowed an effective cellular uptake and the polyethylenimine amine groups facilitate the endosomal escape quickly. The distribution and pharmacodynamics of PPP-RH-NPs were studied in a streptozocin-induced DN model, which explicitly demonstrated kidney-targeted distribution and improved the therapeutic effects of RH on DN by ameliorating several pathological indicators.
Conclusion: Therefore, this study not only stimulates further clinical research on RH but also, more importantly, proposes a promising DN therapy consisting of an effective kidney-targeted drug delivery.

Keywords: rhein, diabetic nephropathy, polyethyleneglycol-co-polycaprolactone-co-
polyethylenimine, nanoparticles, in vitro/vivo evaluation, targeting drug delivery

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