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Lactoferrin-modified PEGylated liposomes loaded with doxorubicin for targeting delivery to hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Wei M, Guo X, Tu L, Zou Q, Li Q, Tang C, Chen B, Xu Y, Wu C

Received 20 April 2015

Accepted for publication 7 June 2015

Published 12 August 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 5123—5137

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S87011

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Minyan Wei,1,2 Xiucai Guo,1,3 Liuxiao Tu,1 Qi Zou,1 Qi Li,1 Chenyi Tang,1 Bao Chen,1 Yuehong Xu,1 Chuanbin Wu1

1Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, 2Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangzhou Medical University, 3Department of Pharmacy, 12th People’s Hospital of Guangzhou City, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Lactoferrin (Lf) is a potential-targeting ligand for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells because of its specific binding with asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR). In this present work, a doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded, Lf-modified, polyethylene glycol (PEG)ylated liposome (Lf-PLS) system was developed, and its targeting effect and antitumor efficacy to HCC was also explored. The DOX-loaded Lf-PLS system had spherical or oval vesicles, with mean particle size approximately 100 nm, and had an encapsulation efficiency of 97%. The confocal microscopy and flow cytometry indicated that the cellular uptake of Lf-PLS was significantly higher than that of PEGylated liposome (PLS) in ASGPR-positive cells (P<0.05) but not in ASGPR-negative cells (P>0.05). Cytotoxicity assay by MTT demonstrated that DOX-loaded Lf-PLS showed significantly stronger antiproliferative effects on ASGPR-positive HCC cells than did PLS without the Lf modification (P<0.05). The in vivo antitumor studies on male BALB/c nude mice bearing HepG2 xenografts demonstrated that DOX-loaded Lf-PLS had significantly stronger antitumor efficacy compared with PLS (P<0.05) and free DOX (P<0.05). All these results demonstrated that a DOX-loaded Lf-PLS might have great potential application for HCC-targeting therapy.

Keywords: asialoglycoprotein receptor, immunoliposome, PEGylated modification, post-insertion, hepatic cancer, active targeting

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