Preclinical studies of N3-O-toluyl-fluorouracil-loaded lipid-based nanosuspensions in H22-bearing mice
Juan Zhang, Min Li, Zhihong Liu, Lili Wang, Yongjun Liu, Na Zhang
School of Pharmaceutical Science, Shandong University, Ji’nan, People’s Republic of China
Purpose: N3-O-toluyl-fluorouracil (TFU) is a potential antitumor prodrug of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), but its poor solubility has limited its use in clinic. This study aimed to improve the bioavailability of TFU by preparing TFU-loaded lipid-based nanosuspensions (TFU-LNS) and perform a preclinical evaluation.
Methods: TFU-LNS were prepared through high-pressure homogenization and were lyophilized afterwards. For in vitro test, the physicochemical properties and cytotoxicity against HegG2 cells were conducted. For in vivo evaluation, the pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution, and antitumor efficacy were investigated in H22-bearing Kunming mice.
Results: TFU showed different degradability in four media; in particular, nearly all of it converted to an equimolar amount of 5-FU in blank plasma of Wistar rats. The lyophilized TFU-LNS had a mean particle size of 180.03±3.11 nm and zeta potential of –8.02±1.43 mV and showed no discernible changes after storage at 4°C for 3 months. In the in vivo antitumor study, the antitumor efficacy of TFU-LNS was consistent with that of 5-FU injection. Furthermore, TFU-LNS released a lower concentration of 5-FU in heart and kidney throughout the tissue distribution studies.
Conclusion: TFU-LNS exhibited convincing antitumor activity and easy scale-up opportunity, which suggests that TFU-LNS might be a promising drug delivery system for cancer therapy.
Keywords: 5-fluorouracil, high-pressure homogenization, cytotoxicity, cancer therapy
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