Self-assembled liposomes of dual paclitaxel-phospholipid prodrug for anticancer therapy

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Graphical abstractIn this report, a newly liposomal formulation of paclitaxel (PTX) based on dual paclitaxel succinate glycerophosphorylcholine (Di-PTX-GPC) prodrug was developed. The Di-PTX-GPC prodrug was synthesized by conjugating PTX with GPC through esterification under N,N′-carbonyldiimidazole (CDI) and 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU) catalytic system. Di-PTX-GPC liposomes were prepared by thin film method and characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The results indicated that the liposomes have an average diameter of 157.9 nm with well-defined spherical morphology. In vitro drug release studies confirmed that the Di-PTX-GPC liposomes have controlled release profile of PTX at a weakly acidic environment, which formulates them suitable for sustained drug delivery. Additionally, in vitro cellular uptake analysis and cytotoxicity evaluation showed that Di-PTX-GPC liposomes were internalized successfully into tumor cells to induce the apoptosis against MCF-7, HeLa and HepG-2 cells. In vivo pharmacokinetics study revealed that such liposomal formulation of Di-PTX-GPC has longer retention half-life in bloodstream, which subsequently leads to slight accumulate in tumor sites due to enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. More importantly, Di-PTX-GPC liposomes demonstrated good in vivo anticancer activities compared to Taxol with reduced adverse effects. Conclusively, these results suggest that Di-PTX-GPC liposomes could be an effective PTX delivery vehicles in clinical cancer chemotherapy.

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