Nonspecifically enhanced therapeutic effects of vincristine on multidrug-resistant cancers when coencapsulated with quinine in liposomes
Yuzhen Xu,1 Liyan Qiu2
1College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Synthesis and Functionalization, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China
Abstract: The use of vincristine (VCR) to treat cancer has been limited by its dose-dependent toxicity and development of drug resistance after repeated administrations. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which quinine hydrochloride (QN) acts as a sensitizer for VCR. Our experiments used three kinds of multidrug-resistant cancer cells and demonstrated that QN worked by inducing intracellular depletion of adenosine triphosphate, increasing adenosine triphosphatase activity, and decreasing P-glycoprotein expression. Based on these results, we designed and prepared a VCR and QN codelivery liposome (VQL) and investigated the effect of coencapsulated QN on the in vitro cytotoxicity of VCR in cells and three-dimensional multicellular tumor spheroids. The antitumor effects of the formulation were also evaluated in multidrug-resistant tumor-bearing mice. The results of this in vivo study indicated that VQL could reverse VCR resistance. In addition, it reduced tumor volume 5.4-fold when compared with other test groups. The data suggest that VQL could be a promising nanoscaled therapeutic agent to overcome multidrug resistance, and may have important clinical implications for the treatment of cancer.
Keywords: vincristine, quinine, combination therapy, liposome, multidrug resistance reversal, P-glycoprotein
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