Reversal of multidrug resistance by co-delivery of tariquidar (XR9576) and paclitaxel using long-circulating liposomes

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One of the major obstacles to the success of cancer chemotherapy is the multidrug resistance (MDR) often resulting due to the overexpression of drug efflux transporter pumps such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp). Highly efficacious third generation P-gp inhibitors, like tariquidar, have shown promising results in overcoming the MDR. However, P-gp is also expressed in normal tissues like blood brain barrier, gastrointestinal track, liver, spleen and kidney. To maximize the efficacy of P-gp inhibitor and reduce the systemic toxicity, it is important to limit the exposure of P-gp inhibitors and the anticancer drugs to normal tissues and increase their co-localization with tumor cells. In this study, we have investigated the co-delivery of the P-gp inhibitor, tariquidar, and cytotoxic drug, paclitaxel, into tumor cells to reverse the MDR using long-circulating liposomes. Tariquidar- and paclitaxel-loaded long-circulating liposomes showed significant resensitization of the resistant variant for paclitaxel, which could be correlated with an increased accumulation of paclitaxel in tumor cells. These results suggest that the co-delivery of the P-gp inhibitor, tariquidar, and the cytotoxicity inducer, paclitaxel, looks like a promising approach to overcome the MDR.

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