Purely aqueous PLGA nanoparticulate formulations of curcumin exhibit enhanced anticancer activity with dependence on the combination of the carrier


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Abstract

Curcumin, a yellow pigment present in turmeric, possess potential anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory activities but poor aqueous solubility limits its applications. In this study we report a novel comparative study of the formulation and characterization of curcumin nanoparticles (nanocurcumin) using two poly (lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) combinations, 50:50 and 75:25 having different lactide to glycolide ratios. Nanocurcumin 50:50 showed smaller size with higher encapsulation efficiency. Thermal evaluation suggested the presence of curcumin in molecular dispersion form which supported its sustained release up to a week where nanocurcumin 50:50 showed faster release. Cellular uptake studies in human epithelial cervical cancer cells (HeLa) exhibited enhanced intracellular fluorescence with nanocurcumin when compared to free curcumin, when both given in purely aqueous media. Antiproliferative studies using MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay, Annexin V/propidium iodide staining, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage and downregulation of clonogenic potential of HeLa cells proved the better antitumor activity of nanocurcumin 50:50 administered in aqueous media. Superior efficacy of nanocurcumin 50:50 in comparison to free curcumin was further demonstrated by electrophoretic mobility shift assay and immunocytochemical analysis. In conclusion, the enhanced aqueous solubility and higher anticancer efficacy of nanocurcumin administered in aqueous media clearly demonstrates its potential against cancer chemotherapy, with dependence on the combination of PLGA.

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