Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry evaluation of the pharmacokinetics of a diacid metabolite of norcantharidin loaded in folic acid-targeted liposomes in mice

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


A previous study has reported diacid metabolite (DM) as the stable form of norcantharidin (NCTD), which is almost 100% metabolized to DM-NCTD. However, the unreliable pharmacokinetic characteristics of DM-NCTD could result in low bioavailability, hindering the clinical use of DM-NCTD in the treatment of diseases. A liposomal drug delivery system could overcome the shortcomings of DM-NCTD by improving the relative bioavailability (Fr), reducing drug toxicity, and increasing the therapeutic efficacy. However, there are no data concerning the pharmacokinetics of a DM-NCTD-loaded liposomal drug delivery system in animals, which is required for assessing its safety profile. Therefore, a rapid and sensitive liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) method was developed and validated for the determination of DM-NCTD in mouse plasma. Standard curves were linear (r = 0.9966) over the range 10.0–1.00 × 104 ng/ml in mouse plasma with a lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) of 10 ng/ml. This study successfully investigated the pharmacokinetics of DM-NCTD and DM-NCTD encapsulated in polyethylene glycol (PEG)-Liposomes (DM-NCTD/PEG-Liposome) or folic acid (FA)-PEG-Liposomes (DM-NCTD/FA-PEG-Liposome) in Kunming mice after a single intravenous dose of 2 mg/kg. The plasma profile data of the three groups adhered to a two-compartment model. Compared with the DM-NCTD group, the Liposome groups had longer circulation times following intravenous administration in mice, and the Fr of DM-NCTD increased significantly (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the area under the concentration–time curve (AUC) declined with an increase in the volume of distribution (Vd) from the PEG-Liposome to the FA-PEG-Liposome groups, which indicates a more efficient removal of the drug from the plasma of the FA-PEG-Liposome group. This result suggests a possible increased risk of DM-NCTD intoxication in normal tissues with FA-PEG-Liposomes. Based on this study, further investigation of the biodistribution of DM-NCTD/FA-PEG-Liposomes in healthy animals is warranted. In addition, the plausibility of formulating a safe DM-NCTD-loaded system without increasing toxicity against normal tissues needs to be determined.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles