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Tuftsin-Bearing Liposomes Co-Encapsulated with Doxorubicin and Curcumin Efficiently Inhibit EAC Tumor Growth in Mice

Authors Murugesan K, Srinivasan P, Mahadeva R, Gupta CM, Haq W

Received 17 August 2020

Accepted for publication 12 November 2020

Published 31 December 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 10547—10559

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S276336

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

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


Kalaimathi Murugesan,1 Padmapriya Srinivasan,1,* Raghunandan Mahadeva,1,* Chhitar M Gupta,1 Wahajul Haq2

1Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), Bangalore, India; 2Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Medicinal and Process Chemistry Division, Lucknow, India

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Kalaimathi Murugesan
Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), Biotech Park, Electronic City Phase I, Bangalore 560100, India
Tel +919585986415
Email mathi.biotech@gmail.com

Background: Targeted multidrug-loaded delivery systems have emerged as an advanced strategy for cancer treatment. In this context, antibodies, hormones, and small peptides have been coupled to the surface of drug carriers, such as liposomes, polymeric and metallic nanoparticles loaded with drugs, as tumor-specific ligands. In the present study, we have grafted a natural macrophage stimulating peptide, tuftsin, on the surface of the liposomes (LPs) that were loaded with doxorubicin (DOX) and/or curcumin (CUR), by attaching to its C-terminus a palmitoyl residue (Thr-Lys-Pro-Arg-CO-NH-(CH2)2-NH-COC15H31, P.Tuft) to enable its grafting within the liposome’s bilayer.
Methods: The prepared drug-loaded liposomes (DOX LPs, CUR LPs, DOX-CUR LPs, P.Tuft-LPs, P.Tuft-DOX LPs, P.Tuft-CUR LPs, P.Tuft-DOX-CUR LPs) were thoroughly characterised in terms of particle size, drug content, encapsulation efficiency and structural properties using UV–visible spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The anti-cancer activity and drug toxicity of the liposomal formulations were examined on Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) tumor-induced mice model.
Results: A significant reduction in the tumor weight and volume was observed upon treating the tumor-bearing mice with palmitoyl tuftsin-grafted dual drug-loaded liposomes (P.Tuft-DOX-CUR LPs), as compared to the single drug/peptide-loaded formulation (DOX LPs, CUR LPs, DOX-CUR LPs, P.Tuft- LPs, P.Tuft-DOX LPs, P.Tuft-CUR LPs). Western blot analysis revealed that the tumor inhibition was associated with p53-mediated apoptotic pathway. Further, the biochemical and histological analysis revealed that the various liposomal preparation used in this study were non-toxic to the animals at the specified dose (10mg/kg).
Conclusion: In conclusion, we have developed a targeted liposomal formulation of P.Tuftsin-bearing liposomes co-encapsulated with effective anti-cancer drugs such as doxorubicin and curcumin. In experimental animals, tumor inhibition by P.Tuft-DOX-CUR LPs indicates the synergistic therapeutic effect of the peptide and the dual drug.

Keywords: palmitoyl-tuftsin, antitumor, doxorubicin, curcumin

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