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Nanoliposomal artemisinin for the treatment of murine visceral leishmaniasis

Authors Want MY, Islamuddin M, Chouhan G, Ozbak HA, Hemeg HA, Chattopadhyay AP, Afrin F

Received 17 February 2016

Accepted for publication 11 May 2016

Published 20 March 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 2189—2204

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S106548

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Yashdeep Phanse

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Muzamil Y Want,1 Mohammad Islammudin,1 Garima Chouhan,1 Hani A Ozbak,2 Hassan A Hemeg,2 Asoke P Chattopadhyay,3 Farhat Afrin2

1Parasite Immunology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, Jamia Hamdard, Hamdard University, New Delhi, India; 2Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Taibah University, Medina, Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Chemistry, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, India

Abstract:
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a fatal, vector-borne disease caused by the intracellular protozoa of the genus Leishmania. Most of the therapeutics for VL are toxic, expensive, or ineffective. Sesquiterpenes are a new class of drugs with proven antimicrobial and antiviral activities. Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone with potent antileishmanial activity, but with limited access to infected cells, being a highly lipophilic molecule. Association of artemisinin with liposome is a desirable strategy to circumvent the problem of poor accessibility, thereby improving its efficacy, as demonstrated in a murine model of experimental VL. Nanoliposomal artemisinin (NLA) was prepared by thin-film hydration method and optimized using Box–Behnken design with a mean particle diameter of 83±16 nm, polydispersity index of 0.2±0.03, zeta potential of -27.4±5.7 mV, and drug loading of 33.2%±2.1%. Morphological study of these nanoliposomes by microscopy showed a smooth and spherical surface. The mechanism of release of artemisinin from the liposomes followed the Higuchi model in vitro. NLA was free from concomitant signs of toxicity, both ex vivo in murine macrophages and in vivo in healthy BALB/c mice. NLA significantly denigrated the intracellular infection of Leishmania donovani amastigotes and the number of infected macrophages ex vivo with an IC50 of 6.0±1.4 µg/mL and 5.1±0.9 µg/mL, respectively. Following treatment in a murine model of VL, NLA demonstrated superior efficacy compared to artemisinin with a percentage inhibition of 82.4%±3.8% in the liver and 77.6%±5.5% in spleen at the highest dose of 20 mg/kg body weight with modulation of cell-mediated immunity towards protective Th1 type. This study is the first report on the use of a liposomal drug delivery system for artemisinin as a promising alternative intervention against VL.

Keywords: visceral leishmaniasis, Box–Behnken, nanoliposomes, drug delivery, artemisinin, Leishmania
 

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