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The efficacy of mitochondrial targeting antiresistant epirubicin liposomes in treating resistant leukemia in animals

Authors Men Y, Wang XX, Li RJ, Zhang Y, Tian W, Yao HJ, Ju RJ, Ying X, Zhou J, Li N, Zhang L, Yu Y, Lu WL

Published 2 December 2011 Volume 2011:6 Pages 3125—3137

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S24847

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Ying Men*, Xiao-Xing Wang*, Ruo-Jing Li, Yan Zhang, Wei Tian, Hong-Juan Yao, Rui-Jun Ju, Xue Ying, Jia Zhou, Nan Li, Liang Zhang, Yang Yu, Wan-Liang Lu
State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, and School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, People's Republic of China
*These authors contributed equally to this manuscript

Background: Multidrug resistance (MDR) of cancers can be circumvented by inducing programmed cell death, which is known as apoptosis. Mitochondria play a crucial role in apoptosis. Mitochondria-specific therapy would provide an efficient strategy for treating resistant cancers.
Design and methods: A strategy was proposed here to overcome MDR by designing cancer mitochondria-specific drug-loaded liposomes, namely, antiresistant epirubicin mitosomes, aimed at treating resistant leukemia by targeting mitochondria. Evaluations were performed on human chronic leukemia K562, MDR K562/ADR cells, and female BALB/c nude mice xenografted with MDR K562/ADR cells. The liposomes were characterized through assays of cytotoxicity, mitochondrial targeting, caspase-9 and caspase-3, antitumor activities, and TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling) analysis.
Results: The average size of antiresistant epirubicin mitosomes was in the range of 105–115 nm. Antiresistant epirubicin mitosomes were effective in inhibiting proliferation of MDR K562/ADR cells in vitro and selectively accumulated into the mitochondria. Caspase-9 and caspase-3 activity was increased after applying antiresistant epirubicin mitosomes. In xenografted resistant MDR K562/ADR tumor in nude mice, antiresistant tumor effect of antiresistant epirubicin mitosomes was evidently observed. Apoptotic inducing effects by antiresistant epirubicin mitosomes were noticeably evidenced via mitochondrial pathway.
Conclusions: Antiresistant epirubicin mitosomes had significant inhibitory effect against resistant leukemia in vitro and in vivo, hence providing a promising strategy for improving therapeutic efficacy in resistant human leukemia.

Keywords: mitosomes, mitochondria signaling pathway, nude mice

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