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Preclinical evaluation of a urokinase plasminogen activator receptor-targeted nanoprobe in rhesus monkeys

Authors Chen Y, Gong L, Gao N, Liao J, Sun J, Wang Y, Wang L, Zhu P, Fan Q, Wang YA, Zeng W, Mao H, Yang L, Gao F

Received 16 June 2015

Accepted for publication 16 September 2015

Published 28 October 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 6689—6698


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Yushu Chen,1 Li Gong,2 Ning Gao,3 Jichun Liao,1 Jiayu Sun,1 Yuqing Wang,1 Lei Wang,1 Pengjin Zhu,1 Qing Fan,1 Yongqiang Andrew Wang,4 Wen Zeng,2 Hui Mao,3 Lily Yang,5 Fabao Gao1

Molecular Imaging Center, Department of Radiology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 2Sichuan Primed Bio-Tech Group Co, Ltd, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 4Ocean NanoTech, LLC, San Diego, CA, 5Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

To translate a recombinant peptide containing the amino-terminal fragment (ATF) of urokinase plasminogen activator receptor-targeted magnetic iron oxide (IO) nanoparticles (uPAR-targeted human ATF-IONPs) into clinical applications, we conducted a pilot study to evaluate the toxicity and pharmacokinetics of this nanoparticle in normal rhesus monkeys.
Methods: We assessed the changes in the following: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signals from pretreatment stage to 14 days posttreatment, serum iron concentrations from 5 minutes posttreatment to 12 weeks posttreatment, routine blood examination and serum chemistry analysis results from pretreatment stage to 12 weeks after administration, and results of staining of the liver with Perls’ Prussian Blue and hematoxylin–eosin at 24 hours and 3 months posttreatment in two rhesus monkeys following an intravenous administration of the targeted nanoparticles either with a polyethylene glycol (ATF-PEG-IONP) or without a PEG (ATF-IONP) coating.
Results: The levels of alkaline phosphatase, alanine transaminase, and direct bilirubin in the two monkeys increased immediately after the administration of the IONPs but returned to normal within 20 days and stayed within the normal reference range 3 months after the injection. The creatinine levels of the two monkeys stayed within the normal range during the study. In addition, red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin level, and platelets remained normal during the 3 months of the study.
Conclusion: All of the results suggest that a transient injury in terms of normal organ functions, but no microscopic necrotic lesions, was observed at a systemic delivery dose of 5 mg/kg of iron equivalent concentration in the acute phase, and that no chronic toxicity was found 3 months after the injection. Therefore, we conclude that uPAR-targeted IONPs have the potential to be used as receptor-targeted MRI contrasts as well as theranostic agents for the detection and treatment of human cancers in future studies.

Keywords: uPAR-IONP, nonhuman primates, transient harm, self-healing

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