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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2016 April; 17(2): 446–453.
Published online 2015 July 31. doi:  10.1208/s12249-015-0375-0
PMCID: PMC4984898

Glutamine-Loaded Liposomes: Preliminary Investigation, Characterization, and Evaluation of Neutrophil Viability

Abstract

Glutamine has received attention due to its ability to ameliorate the immune system response. Once conventional liposomes are readily recognized and captured by immune system cells, the encapsulation of glutamine into those nanosystems could be an alternative to reduce glutamine dosage and target then to neutrophils. Our goals were to nanoencapsulate glutamine into conventional liposomes (Gln-L), develop an analytical high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for its quantification, and evaluate the viability of neutrophils treated with Gln-L. Liposomes were prepared using the thin-film hydration technique followed by sonication and characterized according to pH, mean size, zeta potential, and drug encapsulation efficiency (EE%). We also aimed to study the effect of liposomal constituent concentrations on liposomal characteristics. The viability of neutrophils was assessed using flow cytometry after intraperitoneal administration of free glutamine (Gln), Gln-L, unloaded-liposome (UL), and saline solution as control (C) in healthy Wistar rats. The selected liposomal formulation had a mean vesicle size of 114.65 ± 1.82 nm with a polydispersity index of 0.30 ± 0.00, a positive surface charge of 36.30 ± 1.38 mV, and an EE% of 39.49 ± 0.74%. The developed chromatographic method was efficient for the quantification of encapsulated glutamine, with a retention time at 3.8 min. A greater viability was observed in the group treated with glutamine encapsulated compared to the control group (17%), although neutrophils remain viable in all groups. Thus, glutamine encapsulated into liposomes was able to increase the number of viable neutrophils at low doses, thereby representing a promising strategy for the treatment of immunodeficiency conditions.

KEY WORDS: cell viability, glutamine, liposomes, neutrophils

Articles from AAPS PharmSciTech are provided here courtesy of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists