Safe and effective lipid nanoemulsion (LNE) formulations for the antitumor delivery of doxorubicin is designed.
LNEs composed of medium-chain triglyceride, soybean oil, lecithin, and doxorubicin are prepared by a solvent-diffusion method in an aqueous system. The effects of lipid material composition and polyethylene glycol (PEG)ylation on the size, drug encapsulation efficiency, and stability of LNEs are investigated. Based on in-vitro cytotoxicity and cellular uptake tests of A549 (human lung carcinoma) cells, in-vivo biodistribution, antitumor activity, and cardiac toxicity are further examined using nude mouse bearing A549 tumor.
The LNE size decreases from 126.4 ± 8.7 nm to 44.5 ± 9.3 nm with increased weight ratio of medium-chain triglyceride to soybean oil from 1:4 to 3:2, whereas the encapsulation efficiency of doxorubicin is slightly reduced from 79.2% ± 2.1% to 71.2% ± 2.9%. The PEGylation of LNE by 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[carboxy(PEG)2000] (DSPE-PEG 2000) does not significantly change the size and drug encapsulation efficiency. Three-month storage at room temperature and lyophilization process does not affect the drug encapsulation efficiency, whereas the size slightly increases to almost 100 nm. The in-vitro drug-release profiles of LNEs suggest that the present formulation can prolong drug release for 48 hours. LNEs can be internalized into tumor cells in vitro and efficiently accumulate in tumor tissues in vivo by passive targeting. Analysis results of in-vitro and in-vivo antitumor activities reveal that doxorubicin-loaded LNE exerts a therapeutic effect similar to that of the commercial Adriamycin. Moreover, the toxicity of doxorubicin, particularly its cardiac toxicity, is reduced.
The present LNE formulation of doxorubicin can effectively suppress tumor growth and improve the safety of Adriamycin.
PEGylation; stability; antitumor activity
Quantitative Yttrium-90 (90Y) bremsstrahlung SPECT imaging has shown great potential to provide reliable estimates of90Y activity distribution for targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT) dosimetry applications. One factor that potentially affects the reliability of the activity estimates is the choice of the acquisition energy window. In contrast to imaging conventional gamma photon emitters where the acquisition energy windows are usually placed around photopeaks, there has been great variation in the choice of the acquisition energy window for90Y imaging due to the continuous and broad energy distribution of the bremsstrahlung photons. In quantitative imaging of conventional gamma photon emitters, previous methods for optimizing the acquisition energy window assumed unbiased estimators and used the variance in the estimates as a figure-of-merit (FOM). However, for situations, such as90Y imaging, where there are errors in the modeling of the image formation process used in the reconstruction there will be bias in the activity estimates. In90Y bremsstrahlung imaging this will be especially important due to the high levels of scatter, multiple scatter, and collimator septal penetration and scatter. Thus variance will not be a complete measure of reliability of the estimates and thus is not a complete FOM. To address this, we first aimed to develop a new method to optimize the energy window that accounts for both the bias due to model-mismatch and the variance of the activity estimates. We applied this method to optimize the acquisition energy window for quantitative90Y bremsstrahlung SPECT imaging in microsphere brachytherapy. Since absorbed dose is defined as the absorbed energy from the radiation per unit mass of tissues, in this new method we proposed a mass-weighted root mean squared error (RMSE) of the volume of interest (VOI) activity estimates as the FOM. To calculate this FOM, two analytical expressions were derived for calculating the bias due to model-mismatch and the variance of the VOI activity estimates, respectively. To obtain the optimal acquisition energy window for general situations of interest in clinical90Y microsphere imaging, we generated phantoms with multiple tumors of various sizes and various tumor-to-normal activity concentration ratios using a digital phantom that realistically simulates human anatomy, simulated90Y microsphere imaging with a clinical SPECT system and typical imaging parameters using a previously validated Monte Carlo (MC) simulation code, and used a previously-proposed method for modeling the image degrading effects in quantitative SPECT reconstruction. The obtained optimal acquisition energy window was 100–160 keV. The values of the proposed FOM were much larger than the FOM taking into account only the variance of the activity estimates, thus demonstrating in our experiment that the bias of the activity estimates due to model-mismatch was a more important factor than the variance in terms of limiting the reliability of activity estimates.
The objective of this research was to design an effective gene delivery system composed of cationic solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), protamine, and Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA.
Cationic SLNs were prepared using an aqueous solvent diffusion method with octadecylamine as the cationic lipid material. First, protamine was combined with DNA to form binary protamine/DNA nanoparticles, and the ternary nanoparticle gene delivery system was then obtained by combining binary protamine/DNA nanoparticles with cationic SLNs. The size, zeta potential, and ability of the binary and ternary nanoparticles to compact and protect DNA were characterized. The effect of octadecylamine content in SLNs and the SLNS/DNA ratios on transfection efficiency, cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of the ternary nanoparticles were also assessed using HEK293 cells.
When the weight ratio of protamine to DNA reached 1.5:1, the plasmid DNA could be effectively compacted and protected. The average hydrodynamic diameter of the ternary nanoparticles when combined with protamine increased from 188.50 ± 0.26 nm to 259.33 ± 3.44 nm, and the zeta potential increased from 25.50 ± 3.30 mV to 33.40 ± 2.80 mV when the weight ratio of SLNs to DNA increased from 16/3 to 80/3. The ternary nanoparticles showed high gene transfection efficiency compared with Lipofectamine™ 2000/DNA nanoparticles. Several factors that might affect gene transfection efficiency, such as content and composition of SLNs, post-transfection time, and serum were examined. The ternary nanoparticles composed of SLNs with 15 wt% octadecylamine (50/3 weight ratio of SLNs to DNA) showed the best transfection efficiency (26.13% ± 5.22%) in the presence of serum. It was also found that cellular uptake of the ternary nanoparticles was better than that of the SLN/DNA and binary protamine/DNA nanoparticle systems, and DNA could be transported to the nucleus.
SLNs enhanced entry of binary protamine/DNA nanoparticles into the cell, and protamine protected DNA from enzyme degradation and transported DNA into the nucleus. Compared with Lipofectamine 2000/DNA nanoparticles, these cationic ternary nanoparticles showed relatively durable and stable gene transfection in the presence of serum.
solid lipid nanoparticles; protamine; plasmid DNA; gene transfection; ternary nanoparticles
Nanoparticles composed of galactosylated chitosan oligosaccharide (Gal-CSO) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) were prepared for hepatocellular carcinoma cell-specific uptake, and the characteristics of Gal-CSO/ATP nanoparticles were evaluated. CSO/ATP nanoparticles were prepared as a control. The average diameter and zeta potential of Gal-CSO/ATP nanoparticles were 51.03 ± 3.26 nm and 30.50 ± 1.25 mV, respectively, suggesting suitable properties for a drug delivery system. Subsequently, the cytotoxicity of Gal-CSO/ATP nanoparticles were examined by the methyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay, and the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values were calculated with HepG2 (human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line) cells. The results showed that the cytotoxic effect of nanoparticles on HepG2 cells was low. In the meantime, it was also found that the Gal-CSO/ATP nanoparticles could be uptaken by HepG2 cells, due to expression of the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGP-R) on their surfaces. The presented results indicate that the Gal-CSO nanoparticles might be very attractive to be used as an intracellular drug delivery carrier for hepatocellular carcinoma cell targeting, thus warranting further in vivo or clinical investigations.
galactosylated chitosan oligosaccharide; adenosine triphosphate; nanoparticles; hepatocyte uptake; targeted drug delivery
Previously we have shown that kallikreins (klks) play a renoprotective role in nephrotoxic serum induced nephritis. In this study, we have used mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as vehicles to deliver klks into the injured kidneys and have measured their therapeutic effect on experimental antibody induced nephritis and lupus nephritis. Human KLK-1 (hKLK1) gene was transduced into murine MSCs using a retroviral vector to generate a stable cell line, hKLK1-MSC, expressing high levels of hKLK1. 129/svj mice subjected to anti-GBM induced nephritis were transplanted with 106 hKLK1-MSCs and hKLK1 expression was confirmed in the kidneys. Compared with vector-MSCs injected mice, the hKLK1-MSCs treated mice showed significantly reduced proteinuria, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and ameliorated renal pathology. Using the same strategy, we treated lupus-prone B6.Sle1.Sle3 bicongenic mice with hKLK1-MSCs and demonstrated that hKLK1-MSCs delivery also attenuated lupus nephritis. Mechanistically, hKLK1-MSCs reduced macrophage and T-lymphocyte infiltration into the kidney by suppressing the expression of inflammation cytokines. Moreover, hKLK1 transduced MSCs were more resistant to oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. These findings advance genetically modified MSCs as potential gene delivery tools for targeting therapeutic agents to the kidneys in order to modulate inflammation and oxidative stress in lupus nephritis.
Caspase 8 (CASP8) plays a critical role in the apoptotic pathway and aberrant regulation of this pathway causes many diseases including cancers. Genetic variants rs3834129 (CTTACT/−) and rs3769821 (T/C) in the promoter region of the CASP8 gene were documented to be associated with multiple solid cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), respectively, despite of some controversies. We aimed to discern potential association of these two variants and rs113686495 (CTGTCATT/−), as well as CASP8 mRNA and protein expression levels with colorectal cancer (CRC) in Han Chinese.
We genotyped CASP8 genetic variants in 305 CRC patients and 342 healthy individuals from Kunming, Southwest China. Expression levels of CASP8 mRNA and protein were quantified in paired cancerous and paracancerous normal tissues by using real-time quantitative PCR and western blot, respectively. We compared the frequencies of alleles, genotypes, and haplotypes between the cases and controls. Correlation of CASP8 mRNA and protein expression levels in paired cancerous and paracancerous normal tissues from patients with different genotypes and clinical expression were also evaluated.
There was no association of the CASP8 genetic variants with CRC in our case-control study. The CASP8 gene mRNA expression levels in cancerous and paracancerous normal tissues were similar and there was no significant difference between subjects with different genotypes and clinical features. However, we found that CASP8 protein level was significantly lower in cancerous tissues than in paired paracancerous normal tissues.
Our results suggest that the three CASP8 genetic variants may not be associated with CRC risk in Han Chinese from southwest China. Aberrant CASP8 protein expression may play a role in the pathogenesis of CRC.
Angiolipoma of the spine is a benign neoplasm consisting of both mature fatty tissue and abnormal vascular elements, and usually presents with a slow progressive clinical course. Our patient presented with bilateral lower extremity weakness and chest-back numbness. Physical examination revealed adipose elements superficial hypesthesia below the T5 level and analgesia below the T6 level. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showed an avidly and heterogeneously enhancing mass which was located in the posterior epidural space. Compression of the thoracic cord by the fusiform mass was seen between T3-T4. During the operation, a flesh pink vascular mass (4.7 cm × 1.0 cm × 1.0 cm) with obscure margin and strong but pliable texture was found in the posterior epidural space extending from T3 to T4. There was no infiltration of the dura or the adjacent bony spine. Histopathological study of the surgical specimen showed a typical angiolipoma. We review the previously documented cases of spinal extradural angiolipomas performed with MRI.
Angiolipoma; Spinal epidural tumor; Spinal cord compression; Histopathology
As prostate cancer is a biologically heterogeneous disease for which a variety of treatment options are available, the major objective of prostate cancer imaging is to achieve more precise disease characterization. In clinical practice, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the imaging tools for the evaluation of prostate cancer, the fusion of MRI or dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) with magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) is improving the evaluation of cancer location, size, and extent, while providing an indication of tumor aggressiveness. This review summarizes the role of MRI in the application of prostate cancer and describes molecular MRI techniques (including MRSI and DCE-MRI) for aiding prostate cancer management.
Prostate cancer; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); functional MRI; molecular MRI
Mouse models of experimental anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) nephritis provide an analytical tool for studying spontaneous lupus nephritis. The potential of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) was evaluated using 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) as a probe to monitor the progression of anti-GBM induced nephritis in a mouse model. The imaging results were compared to conventional measures of renal function and pathological changes. Serum and urinary vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) levels were used as measures of endothelial cell activation and inflammation. Following a challenge with anti-glomerular antibodies, mice exhibited peak changes in serum creatinine, proteinuria, and glomerulonephritis score at 14 days post-challenge (p.c.). In contrast, VCAM levels peaked at day 7 p.c. On dynamic PET images (0–60 min) of day 7, kidneys of the anti-GBM nephritis mice demonstrated a unique pattern of FDG uptake. Compared to the time activity curve (TAC) prior to challenge, a rightward shift was observed after the challenge. By day 10 p.c., kidney FDG uptake was lower than baseline and remained so until the study ended at 21 days p.c. During this time frame measures of renal dysfunction remained high but VCAM-1 levels declined. These changes were accompanied by an increase in kidney volume as measured by Computed Tomography (CT) and intra-abdominal fluid collection. Our results suggest that FDG-PET-CT can be used as a non-invasive imaging tool to longitudinally monitor the progression of renal disease activity in antibody mediated nephritis and the magnitude of renal FDG retention correlates better with early markers of renal inflammation than renal dysfunction.
Despite the major public health impact of diabetes, recent population-based data regarding its prevalence and comorbidity are sparse.
The prevalence and comorbidity of diabetes mellitus were analyzed in a nationally representative sample (N = 9133) of the non-institutionalized German adult population aged 50 years and older. Information on physician-diagnosed diabetes and 20 other chronic health conditions was collected as part of the national telephone health interview survey ‘German Health Update (GEDA)’ 2009. Overall, 51.2% of contacted persons participated. Among persons with diabetes, diabetes severity was defined according to the type and number of diabetes-concordant conditions: no diabetes-concordant condition (grade 1); hypertension and/or hyperlipidemia only (grade 2); one comorbidity likely to represent diabetes-related micro- or macrovascular end-organ damage (grade 3); several such comorbidities (grade 4). Determinants of diabetes severity were analyzed by multivariable ordinal regression.
The 12-month prevalence of diabetes was 13.6% with no significant difference between men and women. Persons with diabetes had a significantly higher prevalence and average number of diabetes-concordant as well as diabetes-discordant comorbidities than persons without diabetes. Among persons with diabetes, 10.2%, 46.8%, 35.6% and 7.4% were classified as having severity grade 1–4, respectively. Determinants of diabetes severity included age (cumulative odds ratio 1.05, 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.07, per year) and number of discordant comorbidities (1.40, 1.25-1.55). With respect to specific discordant comorbidities, diabetes severity was correlated to depression (2.15, 1.29-3.56), respiratory disease (2.75, 1.72-4.41), musculoskeletal disease (1.53, 1.06-2.21), and severe hearing impairment (3.00, 1.21-7.41).
Diabetes is highly prevalent in the non-institutionalized German adult population 50 years and older. Diabetes comorbidities including diabetes-concordant and diabetes-discordant conditions need to be considered in epidemiological studies, in order to monitor disease burden and quality of diabetes care. Definitional standards of diabetes severity need to be refined and consented.
Diabetes; Prevalence; Comorbidity; Germany
Saikosaponin a (SSa), a main constituent of the Chinese herb Bupleurum chinense DC., has been demonstrated to have antiepileptic activity. Recent studies have shown that SSa could inhibit NMDA receptor current and persistent sodium current. However, the effects of SSa on potassium (K+) currents remain unclear. In this study, we tested the effect of SSa on 4AP-induced epileptiform discharges and K+ currents in CA1 neurons of rat hippocampal slices. We found that SSa significantly inhibited epileptiform discharges frequency and duration in hippocampal CA1 neurons in the 4AP seizure model in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50
of 0.7 μM. SSa effectively increased the amplitude of ITotal
and IA, significantly negative-shifted the activation curve, and positive-shifted steady-state curve of IA. However, SSa induced no significant changes in the amplitude and activation curve of IK. In addition, SSa significantly increased the amplitude of 4AP-sensitive K+ current, while there was no significant change in the amplitude of TEA-sensitive K+ current. Together, our data indicate that SSa inhibits epileptiform discharges induced by 4AP in a dose-dependent manner and that SSa exerts selectively enhancing effects on IA. These increases in IA may contribute to the anticonvulsant mechanisms of SSa.
Describing the distribution and clearance of HIV surrogates within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to inform rectal microbicide development.
Radiolabeled, simulated HIV-infected semen was administered, imaged, and biopsied to simulate and measure colonic HIV distribution following anal intercourse.
Healthy male subjects with a history of receptive anal intercourse and experience with the use of anal sex toys were recruited to this study. Apheresis isolated leukocytes were collected prior to simulated intercourse. These autologous leukocytes, radiolabeled with 9.25 MBq 111Indium-oxine (cell-associated HIV surrogate), and sulfur colloid particles, labeled with 37 MBq 99mTechnectium (cell-free HIV surrogate), were mixed in 3 mL autologous seminal plasma. This simulated HIV-infected semen was administered to subjects via an artificial phallus with urethra after 5 minutes of simulated intercourse. Post-dosing, dual isotope SPECT/CT images were acquired at 1, 4, 8, and 24 hours. At 5 hours post-dosing, colon biopsies were collected, CD4 cells were extracted, and samples analyzed for radioactivity.
SPECT/CT images showed similar luminal distribution for both surrogates, with migration limited to the recto-sigmoid colon in all subjects. SPECT showed at least 75% overlap in distribution of both surrogates up to 4 hrs following dosing. Biopsies indicate that 2.4% of CD4 cells extracted from recto-sigmoid colon tissue were exogenously administered.
Our HIV surrogates stayed within the recto-sigmoid colon for 24 hours. Exogenously dosed autologous lymphocytes and HIV-sized particles migrate to similar locations, and associate with the colonic tissue in the lumen.
HIV; Rectal microbicide; Anal intercourse; Sexual transmission; Pharmacokinetics
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by an abundance of autoantibodies against nuclear antigens. Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a proximal transducer of the BCR signal that allows for B-cell activation and differentiation. Recently, selective inhibition of Btk by PCI-32765 has shown promise in limiting activity of multiple cells types in various models of cancer and autoimmunity. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Btk inhibition by PCI-32765 on the development of lupus in lupus-prone B6.Sle1 and B6.Sle1.Sle3 mice.
B6.Sle1 or B6.Sle1.Sle3 mice received drinking water containing either the Btk inhibitor PCI-32765 or vehicle for 56 days. Following treatment, mice were examined for clinical and pathological characteristics of lupus. The effect of PCI-32765 on specific cell types was also investigated.
In this study, we report that Btk inhibition dampens humoral autoimmunity in B6.Sle1 monocongenic mice. Moreover, in B6.Sle1.Sle3 bicongenic mice that are prone to severe lupus, Btk inhibition also dampens humoral and cellular autoimmunity, as well as lupus nephritis.
These findings suggest that partial crippling of cell signaling in B cells and antigen presenting cells (APCs) may be a viable alternative to total depletion of these cells as a therapeutic modality for lupus.
Non-invasive monitoring of disease progression in kidney disease is still a major challenge in clinical practice. In vivo near-infrared (NIR) imaging provides a new tool for studying disease mechanisms and non-invasive monitoring of disease development, even in deep organs. The LI-COR IRDye® 800CW RGD optical probe (RGD probe) is a NIR fluorophore, that can target integrin alpha v beta 3 (αvβ3) in tissues.
This study aims to monitor renal disease progression in an anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) nephritis mouse model.
Anti-GBM nephritis was induced in 129x1/svJ mice by anti-GBM serum challenge. The expression of integrin αvβ3 in the diseased kidney was examined by immunohistochemistry and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The RGD probe and control fluorophores, the 800CW dye, and the BSA-conjugated 800CW dye, were administered into anti-GBM nephritic mice. LI-COR Pearl® Impulse imaging system was used for in vivo imaging; while ex vivo organ imaging was acquired using the MaestroTM imaging system.
Kidney tissue from anti-GBM nephritic mice showed higher levels of integrin αvβ3 expression at both the protein and the mRNA level compared to normal mice. The RGD probe allowed in vivo renal imaging and the fluorescent signal could be specifically captured in the diseased kidneys up to 14 days, reflecting longitudinal changes in renal function.
The infrared RGD molecular probe that tracks integrin expression can be successfully used to monitor renal disease progression following immune-mediated nephritis.
Both polymer micelles and mesoporous silica nanoparticles have been widely researched as vectors for small molecular insoluble drugs. To combine the advantages of copolymers and silica, studies on the preparation of copolymer-silica composites and cellular evaluation were carried out.
First, a stearic acid-g-chitosan (CS-SA) copolymer was synthesized through a coupling reaction, and then silicone oxide (SiO2)-deposited doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded stearic acid-g-chitosan (CS-SA/SiO2/DOX) nanoparticles were prepared through the sol-gel reaction. Physical and chemical properties such as particle size, zeta potential, and morphologies were examined, and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analysis was employed to identify the mesoporous structures of the generated nanoparticles. Cellular uptake and cytotoxicity studies were also conducted.
CS-SA/SiO2/DOX nanoparticles with different amounts of SiO2 deposited were obtained, and SAXS studies showed that mesoporous structures existed in the CS-SA/SiO2/DOX nanoparticles. The mesoporous size of middle-ratio and high-ratio deposited CS-SA/SiO2/DOX nanoparticles were 4–5 nm and 8–10 nm, respectively. Based on transmission electron microscopy images of CS-SA/SiO2/DOX nanoparticles, dark rings around the nanoparticles could be observed in contrast with CS-SA/DOX micelles. Furthermore, CS-SA/SiO2/DOX nanoparticles exhibited faster release behavior in vitro than CS-SA/DOX micelles; cellular uptake research in A549 indicated that the CS-SA/SiO2/DOX nanoparticles were taken up by A549 cells more rapidly, and that CS-SA/SiO2/DOX nanoparticles entered the cell more easily when the amount of SiO2 was higher. IC50 values of CS-SA/DOX micelles, CS-SA/SiO2/DOX-4, CS-SA/SiO2/DOX-8, and CS-SA/SiO2/DOX-16 nanoparticles against A549 cells measured using the MTT assay were 1.69, 0.93, 0.32, and 0.12 μg/mL, respectively.
SiO2-deposited stearic acid-g-chitosan organic–inorganic composites show promise as nanocarriers for hydrophobic drugs such as DOX.
doxorubicin; nanoparticles; SiO2-deposited; stearic acid-g-chitosan
A 56-year-old man presented with a 6-mo history of headache. Although neurological and laboratory examinations were normal, computed tomography (CT) scan was performed which revealed multiple occipital osteolytic lesions, which were suspected to be multiple myeloma. Subsequently nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that these lesions presented with a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-like signal intensity, no diffusional restriction and intrinsic mass-like enhancement on conventional sequences were seen. T2 relaxation time was similar to that of CSF in the ventricles and adjacent subarachnoid space on T2-mapping. Single photon emission CT with 99mTc-Methyl diphosphonate was performed which revealed no increased radiotracing accumulation. Finally, these lesions were diagnosed as mutiple arachnoid granulations (AGs). The headache was treated symptomatically with medical therapy. On follow up examination after 6 mo no evidence of tumor was detected. This report aimed to illustrate the appearance and differentiation of occipital defects caused by multiple AGs on CT and MRI, with emphasis on the findings from T2 mapping.
Arachnoid granulation; Occipital defect; Magnetic resonance imaging; Computed tomography; T2-mapping
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is widely used in modern clinical medicine as a diagnostic tool, and provides noninvasive and three-dimensional visualization of biological phenomena in living organisms with high spatial and temporal resolution. Therefore, considerable attention has been paid to magnetic nanoparticles as MRI contrast agents with efficient targeting ability and cellular internalization ability, which make it possible to offer higher contrast and information-rich images for detection of disease.
LTVSPWY peptide-modified PEGylated chitosan (LTVSPWY-PEG-CS) was synthesized by chemical reaction, and the chemical structure was confirmed by 1H-NMR. LTVSPWY-PEG-CS-modified magnetic nanoparticles were prepared successfully using the solvent diffusion method. Their particle size, size distribution, and zeta potential were measured by dynamic light scattering and electrophoretic mobility, and their surface morphology was investigated by transmission electron microscopy. To investigate their selective targeting ability, the cellular uptake of the LTVSPWY-PEG-CS-modified magnetic nanoparticles was observed in a cocultured system of SKOV-3 cells which overexpress HER2 and A549 cells which are HER2-negative. The in vitro cytotoxicity of these nanoparticles in SKOV-3 and A549 cells was measured using the MTT method. The SKOV-3-bearing nude mouse model was used to investigate the tumor targeting ability of the magnetic nanoparticles in vivo.
The average diameter and zeta potential of the LTVSPWY-PEG-CS-modified magnetic nanoparticles was 267.3 ± 23.4 nm and 30.5 ± 7.0 mV, respectively, with a narrow size distribution and spherical morphology. In vitro cytotoxicity tests demonstrated that these magnetic nanoparticles were carriers suitable for use in cancer diagnostics with low toxicity. With modification of the LTVSPWY homing peptide, magnetic nanoparticles could be selectively taken up by SKOV-3 cells overexpressing HER2 when cocultured with HER2-negative A549 cells. In vivo biodistribution results suggest that treatment with LTVSPWY-PEG-CS-modified magnetic nanoparticles/DiR enabled tumors to be identified and diagnosed more rapidly and efficiently in vivo.
LTVSPWY-PEG-CS-modified magnetic nanoparticles are a promising contrast agent for early detection of tumors overexpressing HER2 and further diagnostic application.
LTVSPWY peptide; HER2; poly(ethylene glycol); chitosan; magnetic nanoparticles; tumor targeting
Therapy for central nervous system disease is mainly restricted by the blood–brain barrier. A drug-delivery system is an effective approach to overcome this barrier. In this research, the potential of polymeric micelles for brain-targeting drug delivery was studied.
Stearic acid–grafted chitosan (CS-SA) was synthesized by hydrophobic modification of chitosan with stearic acid. The physicochemical characteristics of CS-SA micelles were investigated. bEnd.3 cells were chosen as model cells to evaluate the internalization ability and cytotoxicity of CS-SA micelles in vitro. Doxorubicin (DOX), as a model drug, was physically encapsulated in CS-SA micelles. The in vivo brain-targeting ability of CS-SA micelles was qualitatively and quantitatively studied by in vivo imaging and high-performance liquid chromatography analysis, respectively. The therapeutic effect of DOX-loaded micelles in vitro was performed on glioma C6 cells.
The critical micelle concentration of CS-SA micelles with 26.9% ± 1.08% amino substitute degree was 65 μg/mL. The diameter and surface potential of synthesized CS-SA micelles in aqueous solution was 22 ± 0.98 nm and 36.4 ± 0.71 mV, respectively. CS-SA micelles presented excellent cellular uptake ability on bEnd.3 cells, the IC50 of which was 237.6 ± 6.61 μg/mL. DOX-loaded micelles exhibited slow drug-release behavior, with a cumulative release up to 72% within 48 hours in vitro. The cytotoxicity of DOX-loaded CS-SA micelles against C6 was 2.664 ± 0.036 μg/mL, compared with 0.181 ± 0.066 μg/mL of DOX · HCl. In vivo imaging results indicated that CS-SA was able to transport rapidly across the blood–brain barrier and into the brain. A maximum DOX distribution in brain of 1.01%/g was observed 15 minutes after administration and maintained above 0.45%/g within 1 hour. Meanwhile, free DOX · HCl was not detected in brain. In other major tissues, DOX-loaded micelles were mainly distributed into lung, liver, and spleen, with a reduction of DOX accumulation in heart.
The CS-SA micelles were able to be used as a promising carrier for a braintargeting drug delivery system.
chitosan; stearic acid; micelle; blood-brain barrier; brain targeting; in vivo imaging
Accumulating evidence suggests a direct role for cigarette smoke in pulmonary vascular remodeling, which contributes to the development of pulmonary hypertension. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain poorly understood. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is a potential mitogen and chemoattractant implicated in several biological processes, including cell survival, proliferation, and migration. In this study, we investigated the effect of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) on cell proliferation of rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (rPASMCs). We found that stimulation of rPASMCs with CSE significantly increased cell proliferation and promoted cell cycle progression from G1 phase to the S and G2 phases. CSE treatment also significantly upregulated the mRNA and protein levels of PDGFB and PDGFRβ. Our study also revealed that Rottlerin, an inhibitor of PKCδ signaling, prevented CSE-induced cell proliferation, attenuated the increase of S and G2 phase populations induced by CSE treatment, and downregulated PDGFB and PDGFRβ mRNA and protein levels in rPASMCs exposed to CSE. Collectively, our data demonstrated that CSE-induced cell proliferation of rPASMCs involved upregulation of the PKCδ-PDGFB pathway.
Ti1 − xAlxN coatings are widely used for wear resistant applications due to their excellent mechanical and thermal properties, which depend to a great extent on the Al content. Here, we concentrate on a comparative study of the effect of Al content on crystal structure, thermal stability and oxidation resistance of Ti1 − xAlxN coatings. In agreement to earlier studies, thermal annealing of the individual cubic (c) and wurtzite (w) structured metastable Ti1 − xAlxN coatings induces decomposition into their stable phases c-TiN and w-AlN. The decomposition process for c-Ti1 − xAlxN involves an intermediate formation of cubic Al-rich and Ti-rich domains which results in a hardness increase to 34.7 and 34.4 GPa for x = 0.52 and 0.62 when annealed at 950 and 900 °C, respectively. In general, coatings with an Al content closer to the solubility limit, exhibit an earlier decomposition process, and hence an earlier peak-hardness.
During exposure of the Ti1 − xAlxN coatings to ambient air at elevated temperatures Al2O3, TiO2 and Al2TiO5 are formed. The oxidation resistance of as-deposited single-phase Ti1 − xAlxN coatings, cubic or wurtzite structured, increases with increasing Al content. However, coatings containing Al contents at the metastable solubility limit, which result in a mixed cubic–wurtzite structure, have the worst oxidation resistance of the Al-containing coatings investigated. The single phase wurtzite structured coating w-Ti0.25Al0.75N shows the best oxidation resistance, with only ~0.7 μm oxide scale thickness, after thermal exposure for 20 h at 850 °C in ambient air.
► Ti1 − xAlxN coatings with varied Al content and structure were prepared by magnetron sputtering. ► Ti1 − xAlxN coatings with an Al content closer to the solubility limit favor an earlier decomposition. ► C-Ti0.48Al0.52N outperforms the other coatings during hardness vs. temperature tests. ► Single phase wurtzite Ti0.25Al0.75N exhibits the best oxidation resistance. ► Mixed structured coatings underperform during hardness vs. temperature and oxidation tests.
Ti–Al–N; AlTiN; Thermal stability; Age-hardening; Oxidation resistance
Solid tumors need new blood vessels to feed and nourish them as well as to allow tumor cells to escape into the circulation and lodge in other organs, which is termed “angiogenesis.” Some tumor cells within solid tumors can overexpress integrins αvβ3 and αvβ5, which can specifically recognize the peptide motif Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD). Thus, the targeting of RGD-modified micelles to tumor vasculature is a promising strategy for tumor-targeting treatment.
RGD peptide (GSSSGRGDSPA) was coupled to poly(ethylene glycol)-modified stearic acid-grafted chitosan (PEG-CS-SA) micelles via chemical reaction in the presence of N,N′-Disuccinimidyl carbonate. The critical micelle concentration of the polymeric micelles was determined by measuring the fluorescence intensity of pyrene as a fluorescent probe. The micelle size, size distribution, and zeta potential were measured by light scattering and electrophoretic mobility. Doxorubicin (DOX) was chosen as a model anticancer drug to investigate the drug entrapment efficiency, in vitro drug-release profile, and in vitro antitumor activities of drug-loaded RGD-PEG-CS-SA micelles in cells that overexpress integrins (ανβ3 and ανβ5) and integrin-deficient cells.
Using DOX as a model drug, the drug encapsulation efficiency could reach 90%, and the in vitro drug-release profiles suggested that the micelles could be used as a controlled-release carrier for the hydrophobic drug. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of cellular uptake indicated that RGD-modified micelles could significantly increase the DOX concentration in integrin-overexpressing human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (BEL-7402), but not in human epithelial carcinoma cell line (Hela). The competitive cellular-uptake test showed that the cellular uptake of RGD-modified micelles in BEL-7402 cells was significantly inhibited in the presence of excess free RGD peptides. In vitro cytotoxicity tests demonstrated DOX-loaded RGD-modified micelles could specifically enhance the cytotoxicity against BEL-7402 compared with DOX-loaded PEG-CS-SA and doxorubicin hydrochlorate.
This study suggests that RGD-modified PEG-CS-SA micelles are promising drug carriers for integrin-overexpressing tumor active targeting therapy.
cellular uptake; chitosan polymeric micelles; cytotoxicity; doxorubicin; integrin; RGD peptide
Cationic polymers have been accepted as effective nonviral vectors for gene delivery with low immunogenicity unlike viral vectors. However, the lack of organ or cell specificity sometimes hampers their application and the modification of polymeric vectors has also shown successful improvements in achieving cell-specific targeting delivery and in promoting intracellular gene transfer efficiency.
A folic acid-conjugated stearic acid-grafted chitosan (FA-CS-SA) micelle, synthesized by a 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide-coupling reaction, was designed for specific receptor-mediated gene delivery.
Due to the cationic properties of chitosan, the micelles could compact the plasmid DNA (pDNA) to form micelle/pDNA complexes nanoparticles. The particle size and zeta potential of the FA-CS-SA/pDNA complexes with different N/P ratios were 100–200 nm and −20 to −10 mV, respectively. The DNase I protection assay indicated that the complexes can efficiently protect condensed DNA from enzymatic degradation by DNase I. A cytotoxicity study indicated that the micelles exhibited less toxicity in comparison with LipofectamineTM 2000. Using SKOV3 and A549 as model tumor cells, the cellular uptake of micelles was investigated.
It was found that cellular uptake of FA-CS-SA in SKOV3 cells with higher folate receptor expression was faster than that in A549 cells with a short incubation time. Luciferase assay and green fluorescent protein detection were used to confirm that FA-CS-SA could be an effective gene vector. Transfection efficiency of the FA-CS-SA/pDNA complexes in SKOV3 cells was enhanced up to 2.3-fold compared with that of the CS-SA/pDNA complexes. However, there was no significant difference between the transfection efficiencies of the two complexes in A549 cells. Importantly, the transfection efficiency of FA-CS-SA/pDNA decreased with free FA pretreatment in SKOV3 cells. It was concluded that the increase in transfection efficiency of the FA-CS-SA/pDNA complexes was attributed to folate receptor-mediated endocytosis.
stearic acid-grafted chitosan; folic acid; polymeric micelles; folate receptor targeting; gene delivery
We are concerned with the estimation of the exterior surface and interior summaries of tube-shaped anatomical structures. This interest is motivated by two distinct scientific goals, one dealing with the distribution of HIV microbicide in the colon and the other with measuring degradation in white-matter tracts in the brain. Our problem is posed as the estimation of the support of a distribution in three dimensions from a sample from that distribution, possibly measured with error. We propose a novel tube-fitting algorithm to construct such estimators. Further, we conduct a simulation study to aid in the choice of a key parameter of the algorithm, and we test our algorithm with validation study tailored to the motivating data sets. Finally, we apply the tube-fitting algorithm to a colon image produced by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and to a white-matter tract image produced using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
Medical imaging; support estimation; SPECT; DTI; principal curves; nonlinear curve estimation
Multinary Ti–Al–N thin films are used for various applications where hard, wear and oxidation resistant materials are needed. Here, we study the effect of Zr addition on structure, mechanical and thermal properties of Ti1-xAlxN based coatings under the guidance of ab initio calculations. The preparation of Ti1-x-zAlxZrzN by magnetron sputtering verifies the suggested cubic (NaCl-type) structure for x below 0.6–0.7 and z ≤ 0.4. Increasing the Zr content from z = 0 to 0.17, while keeping x at ~ 0.5, results in a hardness increase from ~ 33 to 37 GPa, and a lattice parameter increase from 4.18 to 4.29 Å. The latter are in excellent agreement with ab initio data. Alloying with Zr also promotes the formation of cubic domains but retards the formation of stable wurtzite AlN during thermal annealing. This leads to high hardness values of ~ 40 GPa over a broad temperature range of 700–1100 °C for Ti0.40Al0.55Zr0.05N. Furthermore, Zr assists the formation of a dense oxide scale. After 20 h exposure in air at 950 °C, where Ti0.48Al0.52N is already completely oxidized, only a ~ 1 μm thin oxide scale is formed on top of the otherwise still intact ~ 2.5 μm thin film Ti0.40Al0.55Zr0.05N.
Physical vapor deposition; Density functional theory; Hardness; Thermal analysis; Titanium aluminum zirconium nitride; X-ray diffraction; Scanning electron microscopy; Ti-Al-N