Author(s): Dhanikula RS, Argaw A, Bouchard JF, Hildgen P
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Abstract Therapeutic benefit in glial tumors is often limited due to low permeability of delivery systems across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), drug resistance, and poor penetration into the tumor tissue. In an attempt to overcome these hurdles, polyether-copolyester (PEPE) dendrimers were evaluated as drug carriers for the treatment of gliomas. Dendrimers were conjugated to d-glucosamine as the ligand for enhancing BBB permeability and tumor targeting. The efficacy of methotrexate (MTX)-loaded dendrimers was established against U87 MG and U 343 MGa cells. Permeability of rhodamine-labeled dendrimers and MTX-loaded dendrimers across the in vitro BBB model and their distribution into avascular human glioma tumor spheroids was also studied. Glucosylated dendrimers were found to be endocytosed in significantly higher amounts than nonglucosylated dendrimers by both the cell lines. IC 50 of MTX after loading in dendrimers was lower than that of the free MTX, suggesting that loading MTX in PEPE dendrimers increased its potency. Similar higher activity of MTX-loaded glucosylated and nonglucosylated dendrimers was found in the reduction of tumor spheroid size. These MTX-loaded dendrimers were able to kill even MTX-resistant cells highlighting their ability to overcome MTX resistance. In addition, the amount of MTX-transported across BBB was three to five times more after loading in the dendrimers. Glucosylation further increased the cumulative permeation of dendrimers across BBB and hence increased the amount of MTX available across it. Glucosylated dendrimers distributed through out the avascular tumor spheroids within 6 h, while nonglucosylated dendrimers could do so in 12 h. The results show that glucosamine can be used as an effective ligand not only for targeting glial tumors but also for enhanced permeability across BBB. Thus, glucosylated PEPE dendrimers can serve as potential delivery system for the treatment of gliomas.
This article was published in Mol Pharm
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability