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Praziquantel–lipid nanocapsules: an oral nanotherapeutic with potential Schistosoma mansoni tegumental targeting

Authors Amara RO, Ramadan AA, El-Moslemany RM, Eissa MM, El-Azzouni MZ, El-Khordagui LK

Received 27 March 2018

Accepted for publication 9 May 2018

Published 6 August 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 4493—4505

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S167285

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Farooq Shiekh

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Rokaya O Amara,1,2 Alyaa A Ramadan,1 Riham M El-Moslemany,1 Maha M Eissa,3 Mervat Z El-Azzouni,3 Labiba K El-Khordagui1

1Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt; 2Biotechnology Research Center, Tripoli, Libya; 3Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Purpose: Lipid nanocapsules (LNCs) have shown potential to increase the bioavailability and efficacy of orally administered drugs. However, their intestinal translocation to distal target sites and their implication in pharmacokinetic (PK)–pharmacodynamic (PD) relationships are yet to be elucidated. In this study, the effect of LNCs on the PD activity and pharmacokinetics of praziquantel (PZQ), the mainstay of schistosomiasis chemotherapy, was investigated.
Materials and methods: The composition of LNCs was modified to increase PZQ payload and to enhance membrane permeability. PZQ–LNCs were characterized in vitro for colloidal properties, entrapment efficiency (EE%), and drug release. PD activity of the test formulations was assessed in Schistosoma mansoni-infected mice 7 days post-oral administration of a single 250 mg/kg oral dose. Pharmacokinetics of the test formulations and their stability in simulated gastrointestinal (GI) fluids were investigated to substantiate in vivo data.
Results: PZQ–LNCs exhibited good pharmaceutical attributes in terms of size (46–62 nm), polydispersity index (0.01–0.08), EE% (>95%), and sustained release profiles. Results indicated significant efficacy enhancement by reduction in worm burden, amelioration of liver pathology, and extensive damage to the fluke suckers and tegument. This was partly explained by PK data determined in rats. In addition, oral targeting of the worms was supported by the stability of PZQ–LNCs in simulated GI fluids and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) visualization of nanostructures on the tegument of worms recovered from mesenteric/hepatic veins. Cytotoxicity data indicated tolerability of PZQ–LNCs.
Conclusion: Data obtained provide evidence for the ability of oral LNCs to target distal postabsorption sites, leading to enhanced drug efficacy. From a practical standpoint, PZQ–LNCs could be suggested as a potential tolerable single lower dose oral nanomedicine for more effective PZQ mass chemotherapy.

Keywords: lipid nanocapsules, praziquantel, Schistosoma mansoni, bioavailability, oral targeting, pharmacokinetics, tegument

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