Effects of mycophenolic acid–glucosamine conjugates on the base of kidney targeted drug delivery

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Mycophenolic acid has played an important role in treating immunosuppression and autoimmune diseases. Nevertheless, the agent needs a high dosage in treatment, following some side effects. To tackle this problem, in this study, mycophenolic acid–glucosamine conjugate (MGC), modified by 2-glucosamine, was synthesized to achieve kidney targeting and improved drug efficacy with a lower dosage. 1H NMR, 13C NMR and HRMS spectroscopy were used to verify the conjugate whose stability was good in vitro. The transport of MGC by human proximal renal tubular epithelial HK-2 cells was temperature-, time-, concentration-dependent and saturable, suggesting the involvement of carrier-mediated uptake. In addition, the cellular uptake of MGC dropped substantially with the inhibition of megalin receptor. The specific tissue distribution indicated the commendable renal-targeting capability of MGC. The concentration of MGC was improved in the kidney except for other tissues, about 6.76 times higher than that of MPA. Further, the bioavailability of MGC in plasma decreased as compared with mycophenolic acid. Moreover, therapeutic effect of MGC was enhanced significantly compared with MPA in the acute kidney injury model. All the findings suggested the potential of mycophenolic acid–glucosamine conjugate in kidney targeted drug delivery.Highlights:The 2-glucosamine carrier helped enhance the cellular uptake of mycophenolic acid–glucosamine conjugate (MGC).The concentration of MGC was improved in the kidney, which illustrated its substantial kidney targeting capability.MGC could achieve a better drug efficacy with a lower dosage as compared with mycophenolic acid.Graphical abstract

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