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Peritumoral implantation of hydrogel-containing nanoparticles and losartan for enhanced nanoparticle penetration and antitumor effect

Authors Shen H, Gao Q, Ye Q, Yang S, Wu Y, Huang Q, Wang X, Sun Z

Received 3 July 2018

Accepted for publication 9 October 2018

Published 13 November 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 7409—7426


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Haijun Shen,1 Qianqian Gao,1 Qi Ye,1 Shiyun Yang,1 Yuqian Wu,1 Qin Huang,1 Xiaona Wang,2 Zhenhua Sun3

1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health Laboratory Science, School of Medicine, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China; 2Department of Internal Medicine of Jiangsu University Hospital Workers, The Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China; 3Department of Thyroid and Breast Surgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China

Background and purpose: Nanoparticle-loaded hydrogels – localized drug delivery devices containing a combination of therapeutic nanoparticles and implantable hydrogel – have been recipients of increased focus and interest for cancer treatment. However, it is difficult for the released nanoparticles to penetrate deeply into tumors because of the dense collagen network in the tumor extracellular matrix, which greatly limits their antitumor effect. We hypothesized that the implantation of a hydrogel loaded with both nanoparticles and losartan (Los) might enhance penetration because Los has been proven to effectively reduce collagen levels in various tumors. Herein, we developed a nanoparticle/Los-loaded hydrogel system and evaluated the intratumoral distribution and anticancer effect after peritumoral implantation of nanoparticles.
Methods: Fluorescent polystyrene nanoparticles (FPNPs, size ~100 nm) and Los were simultaneously encapsulated in a polyethylene glycol (PEG) hydrogel to form the FPNP/Los-loaded hydrogel. After peritumoral implantation in 4T1 tumor-bearing mice for 2 weeks, intratumoral distributions of FPNPs and collagen level were determined. Based on the results, liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil, ~100 nm) was subsequently substituted for FPNPs in the hydrogel. The cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of the Doxil/Los-loaded hydrogel were studied, and the in vivo antitumor efficacy after peritumoral implantation was evaluated.
Results: Compared with a standard FPNP-loaded hydrogel, the FPNP/Los-loaded hydrogel resulted in enhanced penetration and reduced collagen levels after implantation. Thereafter, the potential of a Doxil/Los-loaded hydrogel for cancer treatment was studied. Doxorubicin was released from the hydrogel and induced effective cytotoxicity against 4T1 cells. The Doxil/Los-loaded hydrogel showed synergistic antitumor effects in 4T1 tumor-bearing mice and was more effective at tumor inhibition than the Doxil-loaded hydrogel.
Conclusion: This study provides a proof of principle that the implantation of nanoparticles/Los-loaded hydrogel can increase the intratumoral distribution and antitumor efficacy of nanoparticles, owing to collagen depletion by Los. Future studies may build on this strategy for enhanced tumor penetration of nanoparticles.

Keywords: localized drug delivery, tumor penetration, tumor extracellular matrix, collagen, matrix metalloproteinase, breast cancer

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