The co-delivery of a low-dose P-glycoprotein inhibitor with doxorubicin sterically stabilized liposomes against breast cancer with low P-glycoprotein expression
Wei Gao,1 Zhiqiang Lin,1 Meiwan Chen,2 Xiucong Yang,1 Zheng Cui,1 Xiaofei Zhang,1 Lan Yuan,3 Qiang Zhang1
1State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, 2State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macau, 3Medical and Healthy Analytical Center, Peking University, Beijing, People's Republic of China
Introduction: P-glycoprotein (P-gp) inhibitors are usually used to treat tumors that overexpress P-gps. However, most common types of breast cancers, such as Luminal A, are low-P-gp expressing, at least during the initial phases of treatment. Therefore, it would be interesting to know if P-gp inhibitors are still useful in treating low-P-gp-expressing tumors.
Methods: In the study reported here, the human breast-cancer cell line MCF-7, chosen as a model of Luminal A, was found to be low-P-gp expressing. We designed a novel doxorubicin (DOX) sterically stabilized liposome system co-loaded with the low-dose P-gp inhibitor cyclosporine A (CsA) (DOX/CsA/SSL).
Results: The co-delivery system showed good size uniformity, high encapsulation efficiency, and a desirable release profile. The cell-uptake and cytotoxicity studies demonstrated that CsA could significantly enhance the intracellular accumulation and toxicity of free DOX and the liposomal DOX in MCF-7 cells. The confocal microscopy and in vivo imaging study confirmed the intracellular and in vivo targeting effect of DOX/CsA/SSL, respectively. Finally, the in vivo study proved that DOX/CsA/SSL could achieve significantly better antitumor effect against MCF-7 tumor than controls, without inducing obvious systemic toxicity.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the co-delivery of a low-dose P-gp inhibitor and liposomal DOX could improve the therapy of low-P-gp-expressing cancer, which is of significance in clinical tumor therapy.
Keywords: liposomes, low-P-gp-expressing tumor, antitumor activity, cyclosporine A, targeted delivery
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