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Multifunctional Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-Poly (Lactic-Co-Glycolic Acid) (PLGA)-Based Nanoparticles Loading Doxorubicin and Tetrahydrocurcumin for Combined Chemoradiotherapy of Glioma

Xingzhen Zhang, Lixia Zhao, Guangxi Zhai, Jianbo Ji, Anchang Liu

Department of Pharmacy, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:9737-9751

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.918899

Available online:

Published: 2019-12-19

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to prepare doxorubicin- and tetrahydrocurcumin-loaded and transferrin-modified PEG-PLGA nanoparticles (Tf-NPs-DOX-THC) for enhanced and synergistic chemoradiotherapy.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Tf-NPs-DOX-THC were prepared via the double-emulsion method. The morphologies and particle sizes of the prepared nanoparticles were examined by TEM and DLS, respectively. The in vitro MTT, apoptosis, and clone formation assays were performed to detect the proliferation and radiosensitivity of cells with various treatments. Cellular uptake assay was also conducted. The tissue distribution of Tf-NPs was investigated by ex vivo DOX fluorescence imaging. The in vivo tumor growth inhibition efficiency of various treatments was evaluated in orthotopic C6 mouse models and C6 subcutaneously grafted mouse models.
RESULTS: Tf-NPs-DOX-THC exhibited high drug-loading efficiency (6.56±0.32%) and desirable particle size (under 250 nm). MTT, apoptosis, and clone formation assays revealed the enhanced anti-cancer activity and favorable radiosensitizing effect of Tf-NPs-DOX-THC. Strong fluorescence was observed in the brains of mice treated with Tf-NPs-DOX. The in vitro release of drug from nanoparticles was in a pH-sensitive manner. Tf-NPs-DOX-THC in combination with radiation also achieved favorable anti-tumor efficacy in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: All results suggest that a combination of Tf-NPs-DOX-THC and radiation is a promising strategy for synergistic and sensitizing chemoradiotherapy of glioma.

Keywords: chemoradiotherapy, Nanoparticles, Receptors, Transferrin