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Synergistic effect of pH-responsive folate-functionalized poloxamer 407-TPGS-mixed micelles on targeted delivery of anticancer drugs

Authors Butt AM, Iqbal MC, Amin M, Katas H

Received 1 December 2014

Accepted for publication 29 December 2014

Published 13 February 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 1321—1334


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Adeel Masood Butt, Mohd Cairul Iqbal Mohd Amin, Haliza Katas

Centre for Drug Delivery Research, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Background: Doxorubicin (DOX), an anthracycline anticancer antibiotic, is used for treating various types of cancers. However, its use is associated with toxicity to normal cells and development of resistance due to overexpression of drug efflux pumps. Poloxamer 407 (P407) and vitamin E TPGS (d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate, TPGS) are widely used polymers as drug delivery carriers and excipients for enhancing the drug retention times and stability. TPGS reduces multidrug resistance, induces apoptosis, and shows selective anticancer activity against tumor cells. Keeping in view the problems, we designed a mixed micelle system encapsulating DOX comprising TPGS for its selective anticancer activity and P407 conjugated with folic acid (FA) for folate-mediated receptor targeting to cancer cells.
Methods: FA-functionalized P407 was prepared by carbodiimide crosslinker chemistry. P407-TPGS/FA-P407-TPGS-mixed micelles were prepared by thin-film hydration method. Cytotoxicity of blank micelles, DOX, and DOX-loaded micelles was determined by alamarBlue® assay.
Results: The size of micelles was less than 200 nm with encapsulation efficiency of 85% and 73% for P407-TPGS and FA-P407-TPGS micelles, respectively. Intracellular trafficking study using nile red-loaded micelles indicated improved drug uptake and perinuclear drug localization. The micelles show minimal toxicity to normal human cell line WRL-68, enhanced cellular uptake of DOX, reduced drug efflux, increased DOX–DNA binding in SKOV3 and DOX-resistant SKOV3 human ovarian carcinoma cell lines, and enhanced in vitro cytotoxicity as compared to free DOX.
Conclusion: FA-P407-TPGS-DOX micelles show potential as a targeted nano-drug delivery system for DOX due to their multiple synergistic factors of selective anticancer activity, inhibition of multidrug resistance, and folate-mediated selective uptake.

Keywords: doxorubicin nanocarriers, folate targeting, doxorubicin cytotoxicity, synergistic drug delivery, Pgp-inhibiting micelles

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