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Liposomal nanoparticles encapsulating iloprost exhibit enhanced vasodilation in pulmonary arteries

Authors Jain PP, Leber R, Nagaraj C, Leitinger G, Lehofer B, Olschewski H, Olschewski A, Prassl R, Marsh LM

Received 27 February 2014

Accepted for publication 5 May 2014

Published 7 July 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 3249—3261

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S63190

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Pritesh P Jain,1 Regina Leber,1,2 Chandran Nagaraj,1 Gerd Leitinger,3 Bernhard Lehofer,4 Horst Olschewski,1,5 Andrea Olschewski,1,6 Ruth Prassl,1,4 Leigh M Marsh1

1Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Lung Vascular Research, 2Biophysics Division, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, 3Research Unit Electron Microscopic Techniques, Institute of Cell Biology, Histology, and Embryology, 4Institute of Biophysics, 5Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine, 6Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Abstract: Prostacyclin analogues are standard therapeutic options for vasoconstrictive diseases, including pulmonary hypertension and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Although effective, these treatment strategies are expensive and have several side effects. To improve drug efficiency, we tested liposomal nanoparticles as carrier systems. In this study, we synthesized liposomal nanoparticles tailored for the prostacyclin analogue iloprost and evaluated their pharmacologic efficacy on mouse intrapulmonary arteries, using a wire myograph. The use of cationic lipids, stearylamine, or 1,2-di-(9Z-octadecenoyl)-3-trimethylammonium-propane (DOTAP) in liposomes promoted iloprost encapsulation to at least 50%. The addition of cholesterol modestly reduced iloprost encapsulation. The liposomal nanoparticle formulations were tested for toxicity and pharmacologic efficacy in vivo and ex vivo, respectively. The liposomes did not affect the viability of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Compared with an equivalent concentration of free iloprost, four out of the six polymer-coated liposomal formulations exhibited significantly enhanced vasodilation of mouse pulmonary arteries. Iloprost that was encapsulated in liposomes containing the polymer polyethylene glycol exhibited concentration-dependent relaxation of arteries. Strikingly, half the concentration of iloprost in liposomes elicited similar pharmacologic efficacy as nonencapsulated iloprost. Cationic liposomes can encapsulate iloprost with high efficacy and can serve as potential iloprost carriers to improve its therapeutic efficacy.

Keywords: prostacyclin, cationic liposomes, pulmonary hypertension, wire myograph

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