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Liver-targeted liposomes for codelivery of curcumin and combretastatin A4 phosphate: preparation, characterization, and antitumor effects

Authors Jiang H, Li ZP, Tian GX, Pan RY, Xu CM, Zhang B, Wu JL

Received 27 September 2018

Accepted for publication 8 February 2019

Published 8 March 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1789—1804

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S188971

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster


Hong Jiang,1,* Zhi-Peng Li,1,* Gui-Xiang Tian,1,* Rui-Yan Pan,1 Chong-Mei Xu,2 Bo Zhang,2 Jing-liang Wu1

1School of Bioscience and Technology, Weifang Medical University, Weifang, Shandong, China; 2School of Pharmacy, Weifang Medical University, Weifang, Shandong, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Recent efforts have been focused on combining two or more therapeutic approaches with different mechanisms to enhance antitumor therapy. Moreover, nanosize drug-delivery systems for codelivering two drugs with proapoptotic and antiangiogenic activities have exhibited great potential in efficient treatment of cancers.
Methods: Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA)–modified liposomes (GA LPs) for liver-targeted codelivery of curcumin (Cur) and combretastatin A4 phosphate (CA4P) were prepared and characterized. In vitro cellular uptake, cytotoxicity, cell migration, in vivo biodistribution, antitumor activity, and histopathological studies were performed.
Results: Compared with unmodified LPs (Cur-CA4P LPs), Cur-CA4P/GA LPs were taken up effectively by human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (BEL-7402) and showed higher cytotoxicity than free drugs. In vivo real-time near-infrared fluorescence–imaging results indicated that GA-targeted LPs increased accumulation in the tumor region. Moreover, Cur-CA4P/GA LPs showed stronger inhibition of tumor proliferation than Cur, Cur + CA4P, and Cur-CA4P LPs in vivo antitumor studies, which was also verified by H&E staining.
Conclusion: GA-modified LPs can serve as a promising nanocarrier for liver-targeted co-delivery of antitumor drugs against hepatocellular carcinoma.

Keywords: liver-targeted, LPs, curcumin, combretastatin A4 phosphate, combination therapy

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