Ultrasound-mediated cavitation enhances the delivery of an EGFR-targeting liposomal formulation designed for chemo-radionuclide therapy.
ABSTRACT: Nanomedicines allow active targeting of cancer for diagnostic and therapeutic applications through incorporation of multiple functional components. Frequently, however, clinical translation is hindered by poor intratumoural delivery and distribution. The application of physical stimuli to promote tumour uptake is a viable route to overcome this limitation. In this study, ultrasound-mediated cavitation of microbubbles was investigated as a mean of enhancing the delivery of a liposome designed for chemo-radionuclide therapy targeted to EGFR overexpressing cancer. Method: Liposomes (111In-EGF-LP-Dox) were prepared by encapsulation of doxorubicin (Dox) and surface functionalisation with Indium-111 tagged epidermal growth factor. Human breast cancer cell lines with high and low EGFR expression (MDA-MB-468 and MCF7 respectively) were used to study selectivity of liposomal uptake, subcellular localisation of drug payload, cytotoxicity and DNA damage. Liposome extravasation following ultrasound-induced cavitation of microbubbles (SonoVue®) was studied using a tissue-mimicking phantom. In vivo stability, pharmacokinetic profile and biodistribution were evaluated following intravenous administration of 111In-labelled, EGF-functionalised liposomes to mice bearing subcutaneous MDA-MB-468 xenografts. Finally, the influence of ultrasound-mediated cavitation on the delivery of liposomes into tumours was studied. Results: Liposomes were loaded efficiently with Dox, surface decorated with 111In-EGF and showed selective uptake in MDA-MB-468 cells compared to MCF7. Following binding to EGFR, Dox was released into the intracellular space and 111In-EGF shuttled to the cell nucleus. DNA damage and cell kill were higher in MDA-MB-468 than MCF7 cells. Moreover, Dox and 111In were shown to have an additive cytotoxic effect in MDA-MB-468 cells. US-mediated cavitation increased the extravasation of liposomes in an in vitro gel phantom model. In vivo, the application of ultrasound with microbubbles increased tumour uptake by 66% (p<0.05) despite poor vascularisation of MDA-MB-468 xenografts (as shown by DCE-MRI). Conclusion: 111In-EGF-LP-Dox designed for concurrent chemo-radionuclide therapy showed specificity for and cytotoxicity towards EGFR-overexpressing cancer cells. Delivery to tumours was enhanced by the use of ultrasound-mediated cavitation indicating that this approach has the potential to deliver cytotoxic levels of therapeutic radionuclide to solid tumours.
Project description:Purpose Radiolabeled antibodies and peptides hold promise for molecular radiotherapy but are often limited by a low payload resulting in inadequate delivery of radioactivity to tumour tissue and, therefore, modest therapeutic effect. We developed a facile synthetic method of radiolabeling indium-111 (111In) to epidermal growth factor (EGF)-gold nanoparticles (111In-EGF-Au NP) with a high payload. Materials and methods EGF-Au NP were prepared via an interaction between gold and the disulphide bonds of EGF and radiolabeled using 111InCl3. Targeting efficiency was investigated by quantitating internalized radioactivity and by confocal imaging following exposure of MDA-MB-468 (1.3 × 106 EGFR/cell) and MCF-7 (104 EGFR/cell) cells to Cy3-EGF-Au NP. Cytotoxicity was evaluated in clonogenic assays. Results The proportion of total administered radioactivity that was internalized by MDA-MB-468 and MCF-7 cells was 15% and 1.3%, respectively (mixing ratio of EGF:Au of 160). This differential uptake in the two cell lines was confirmed using confocal microscopy. 111In-EGF-Au NP were significantly more radiotoxic to MDA-MB-468 than MCF-7 cells with a surviving fraction of 17.1 ± 4.4% versus 89.8 ± 1.4% (p < 0.001) after exposure for 4?h. Conclusions An 111In-labeled EGF-Au nanosystem was developed. It enabled targeted delivery of a high 111In payload specifically to EGFR-positive cancer cells leading to radiotoxicity that can be exploited for molecularly targeted radiotherapy.
Project description:The successful use of targeted radionuclide therapy in the treatment of solid tumours may be limited by radioresistance, which necessitates delivery of a high dose of radioactivity. Nanoparticle (NP)-based delivery systems possess a large surface area for attachment of radioisotopes and so offer a solution to this challenge. However, tumour uptake may be limited by rapid hepatic clearance of NP via the mononuclear phagocyte system. Liver uptake is further compounded when epidermal growth factor (EGF) is used as a targeting ligand, as EGF-tagged NP bind the EGF receptor (EGFR), which is expressed to a moderate extent by hepatocytes. This report describes an indium-111 (111In)-labelled PEGylated EGF-tagged gold (Au) NP (111In-EGF-Au-PEG) and an effective strategy of coadministration of targeting ligand to address these issues. Direct attachment of EGF to the surface of Au NP did not compromise surface coating with long-chain PEG. In vitro experiments showed that 111In-EGF-Au-PEG targets EGFR-positive cancer cells (MDA-MB-468): >11% of radioactivity was internalised after incubation for 4 h. In in vivo studies accumulation of NP was observed in MDA-MB-468 xenografts and tumour uptake was enhanced by the coadministration of 15 µg of the unlabelled targeting ligand, EGF, to block hepatic EGFR. Uptake was 3.9% versus 2.8% injected dose/g (%ID/g) of tumour tissue with and without unlabelled EGF, respectively. Coadministration of EGF reduced liver uptake by 25.95% to 7.56 %ID/g. This suggests that the coadministration of unlabelled targeting ligand with radiolabelled PEGylated NP offers a promising strategy for targeting EGFR-positive cancer and for minimising liver uptake.
Project description:The spatial distribution of radiopharmaceuticals that emit short-range high linear-energy-transfer electrons greatly affects the absorbed dose and their biological effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of heterogeneous radionuclide distribution on tumor control probability (TCP) in a micrometastases model. Methods: Cancer cell lines; MDA-MB-468, SQ20B and 231-H2N were grown as spheroids to represent micrometastases. The intracellular distribution of a representative radiopeptide (111In-labelled epidermal growth factor, EGF) and radioimmunotherapeutic (111In-labelled Trastuzumab) was determined in cell internalization experiments. The intratumoral distribution was evaluated by microautoradiography of spheroids. ?H2AX staining was performed on spheroid sections to correlate DNA damage with radionuclide distribution. Experimental surviving fractions (SFexp ) were obtained using clonogenic assays. A random closed-packed algorithm, which models the random packing behavior of cells and reflects variation in the radii of cells and nuclei, was used to simulate 3-D spheroids. Calculated survival fractions (SFcal ) were generated using an iterative modelling method based on Monte Carlo determined absorbed dose with the PENELOPE code and were compared to (SFexp ). Radiobiological parameters deduced from experimental results and MC simulations were used to predict the TCP for a 3-D spheroid model. Results: Calculated SFs were in good agreement with experimental data, particularly when an increased value for relative biological effectiveness (RBE) was applied to self-dose deposited by sources located in the nucleus and when radiobiological parameters were adjusted to account for dose protraction. Only in MDA-MB-468 spheroids treated with 111In-EGF was a TCP>0.5 achieved, indicating that for this cell type the radiopeptide would be curative when targeting micrometastases. This is attributed to the relative radiosensitivity of MDA-MB-468 cells, high nuclear uptake of the radiopeptide and uniform distribution of radioactivity throughout the spheroid. Conclusion: It is imperative to include biological endpoints when evaluating the distribution of radionuclides in models emulating micrometastatic disease. The spatial distribution of radioactivity is a clear determinant of biological effect and TCP as demonstrated in this study.
Project description:The aim of our study was to evaluate the influence of low-intensity pulsed US on the delivery of doxorubicin (DOX) into MDA-MB-231 triple-negative breast cancer and A549 non-small cell lung cancer cell 2D and 3D cultures. US with pulse repetition frequency of 10 Hz and 1 MHz center frequency was generated with peak negative pressure of 0.5 MPa and 50% duty cycle. SonoVue microbubbles were used. Spheroids were formed using 3D Bioprinting method. DOX delivery in 2D and 3D cultures was assessed using fluorescence microscopy. US without the addition of microbubbles did not enhance the penetration of DOX into monolayer-cultured cells and tumor spheroids. In the presence of microbubbles US improved the delivery of DOX into the edge end middle zones of A549 and MDA-MB-231 spheroids. Application of low-intensity pulsed US in combination with microbubbles may be a promising approach to enhance the delivery of DOX into tumor spheroids.
Project description:Cardiotoxicity is the major dose-limiting factor in the chemotherapeutic use of doxorubicin (Dox). A delivery vehicle that can be triggered to release its payload in the tumoral microvasculature but not in healthy tissue would help improve the therapeutic window of the drug. Delivery strategies combining liposomal encapsulated Dox (LDox), microbubbles (MBs), and ultrasound (US) have been shown to improve therapeutic efficacy of LDox, but much remains to be known about the mechanisms and the US conditions that maximize cytotoxicity using this approach. In this study, we compared different US pulses in terms of drug release and acute toxicity. Drug uptake and proliferation rates using low-intensity US were measured in squamous cell carcinoma cells exposed to LDox conjugated to or coinjected with polymer MBs. The aims of this study were: (1) to compare the effects of low- and high-pressure US on Dox release kinetics; (2) to evaluate whether conjugating the liposome to the MB surface (DoxLPX) is an important factor for drug release and cytotoxicity; and (3) to determine which US parameters most inhibit cell proliferation and whether this inhibition is mediated by drug release or the MB/US interaction with cells. Low-pressure US (170 kPa) at high duty cycle (stable cavitation) released up to ? 70% of the encapsulated Dox from the DoxLPX, thus improving Dox bioavailability and cellular uptake and leading to a significant reduction in cell proliferation at 48 h. Flow cytometry showed that US generating stable oscillations of DoxLPX significantly increased cellular Dox uptake at 4 h after US exposure compared to LDox. Drug uptake was correlated with cytotoxicity at 48 h. Our results demonstrate that Dox-containing liposomes conjugated to polymer MBs can be triggered to release ? 70% of their payload using noninertial US. Following release, Dox became bioavailable to the cells and induced significantly higher cytotoxicity compared to nonreleased encapsulated drug. Our findings show promise for targeted drug delivery using this theranostic delivery platform at low US intensities.
Project description:Breast cancer cell invasion is influenced by growth factor concentration gradients in the tumor microenvironment. However, studying the influence of growth factor gradients on breast cancer cell invasion is challenging due to both the complexities of in vivo models and the difficulties in recapitulating the tumor microenvironment with defined gradients using in vitro models. A defined hyaluronic acid (HA)-based hydrogel crosslinked with matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) cleavable peptides and modified with multiphoton labile nitrodibenzofuran (NDBF) was synthesized to photochemically immobilize epidermal growth factor (EGF) gradients. We demonstrate that EGF gradients can differentially influence breast cancer cell invasion and drug response in cell lines with different EGF receptor (EGFR) expression levels. Photopatterned EGF gradients increase the invasion of moderate EGFR expressing MDA-MB-231?cells, reduce invasion of high EGFR expressing MDA-MB-468?cells, and have no effect on invasion of low EGFR-expressing MCF-7?cells. We evaluate MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468?cell response to the clinically tested EGFR inhibitor, cetuximab. Interestingly, the cellular response to cetuximab is completely different on the EGF gradient hydrogels: cetuximab decreases MDA-MB-231?cell invasion but increases MDA-MB-468?cell invasion and cell number, thus demonstrating the importance of including cell-microenvironment interactions when evaluating drug targets.
Project description:One of the major obstacles to successful chemotherapy is multi-drug resistance (MDR). A multi-drug resistant cancerous cell abnormally overexpresses membrane transporters that pump anticancer drugs out of the cell, resulting in low anticancer drug delivery efficiency. To overcome the limitation, many attempts have been performed to inhibit the abilities of efflux receptors chemically or genetically or to increase the delivery efficiency of anticancer drugs. However, the results have not yet been satisfactory. In this study, we developed nanoparticle-microbubble complexes (DOX-NPs/Ce6-MBs) by conjugating doxorubicin loaded human serum albumin nanoparticles (DOX-NPs) onto the surface of Chlorin e6 encapsulated microbubbles (Ce6-MBs) in order to maximize anticancer efficiency by overcoming MDR. Under the ultrasound irradiation, DOX-NPs and Ce6 encapsulating self-assembled liposomes or micelles were effectively delivered into the cells due to the sonoporation effect caused by the microbubble cavitation. At the same time, reactive oxygen (ROS) generated from intracellularly delivered Ce6 by laser irradiation arrested the activity of ABCG2 efflux receptor overexpressed in doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells (MCF-7/ADR), resulting in increased the chemotherapy efficacy. In addition, the total number of side population cells that exhibit the properties of cancer stem-like cells were also reduced by the combination of photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy. In conclusion, DOX-NPs/Ce6-MBs will provide a platform for simultaneously overcoming MDR and increasing drug delivery and therefore, treatment efficiency, under ultrasound irradiation.
Project description:Microbubbles (MBs) serve as a critical catalyst to amplify local cavitation in CNS capillary lumen to facilitate focused ultrasound (FUS) to transiently open the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, limited understanding is available regarding the effect of different microbubbles to induce BBB opening. The aim of this study is to characterize different MBs on their effect in FUS-induced BBB opening. Three MBs, SonoVue, Definity, and USphere, were tested, with 0.4-MHz FUS exposure at 0.62-1.38 of mechanical index (MI) on rats. Evans blue, dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI and small-animal ultrasound imaging were used as surrogates to allow molecule-penetrated quantification, BBB-opened observation, and MBs circulation/persistence. Cavitation activity was measured via the passive cavitation detection (PCD) setup to correlate with the exposure level and the histological effect. Under given and identical MB concentrations, the three MBs induced similar and equivalent BBB-opening effects and persistence. In addition, a treatment paradigm by adapting exposure time is proposed to compensate MB decay to retain the persistence of BBB-opening efficiency in multiple FUS exposures. The results potentially improve understanding of the equivalence among MBs in focused ultrasound CNS drug delivery, and provide an effective strategy for securing persistence in this treatment modality.
Project description:Maleimide is a stable and easy-to-handle moiety that rapidly and covalently conjugates thiol groups of cysteine residues in proteins or peptides. Herein, we use maleimide to modify the surface of liposomes in order to obtain an advanced drug delivery system. Employing a small amount (0.3 mol%) of maleimide-polyethylene glycol (PEG) to modify the surface of the liposomes M-GGLG-liposomes, composed of 1,5-dihexadecyl N,N-diglutamyl-lysyl-L-glutamate (GGLG)/cholesterol/poly(ethylene glycol) 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (PEG5000-DSPE)/maleimide-PEG5000-Glu2C18 at a molar ratio of 5:5:0.03:0.03, drug delivery efficiency was remarkably improved both in vitro and in vivo compared to unmodified liposomes (GGLG-liposomes, composed of GGLG/cholesterol/PEG5000-DSPE/PEG5000-Glu2C18 at a molar ratio of 5:5:0.03:0.03). Moreover, this modification did not elicit any detectable increase in cytotoxicity. The maleimide-modification did not alter the physical characteristics of the liposomes such as size, zeta potential, pH sensitivity, dispersibility and drug encapsulation efficiency. However, M-GGLG-liposomes were more rapidly (?2-fold) internalized into HeLa, HCC1954, and MDA-MB-468 cells compared to GGLG-liposomes. In vivo, M-GGLG-liposomes encapsulating doxorubicin (M-GGLG-DOX-liposomes) also showed a more potent antitumor effect than GGLG-DOX-liposomes and the widely used 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC)-DOX-liposomes after two subcutaneous injections around breast cancer tissue in mice. The biodistribution of liposomes in this model was observed using an in vivo imaging system, which showed that M-GGLG-liposomes were present for significantly longer at the injection site compared to GGLG-liposomes. The outstanding biological functions of the maleimide-modified liposomes as a novel drug delivery system make them ideally suited to a wide range of applications.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the leading cancer in women. Chemotherapeutic agents used for TNBC are mainly associated with dose-dependent toxicities and development of resistance. Hence, novel strategies to overcome resistance and to offer dose reduction are warranted. In this study, we designed a novel dual-functioning agent, conjugate of cholecalciferol with PEG2000 (PEGCCF) which can self-assemble into micelles to encapsulate doxorubicin (DOX) and act as a chemosensitizer to improve the therapeutic potential of DOX. DOX-loaded PEGCCF (PEGCCF-DOX) micelles have particle size, polydispersity index (PDI), and zeta potential of 40 ± 8.7 nm, 0.180 ± 0.051, and 2.39 ± 0.157 mV, respectively. Cellular accumulation studies confirmed that PEGCCF was able to concentration-dependently enhance the cellular accumulation of DOX and rhodamine 123 in MDA-MB-231 cells through its P-glycoprotein (P-gp) inhibition activity. PEGCCF-DOX exhibited 1.8-, 1.5-, and 2.9-fold enhancement in cytotoxicity of DOX in MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and MDA-MB-231DR (DOX-resistant) cell lines, respectively. Western blot analyses showed that PEGCCF-DOX caused significant reduction in tumor markers including mTOR, c-Myc, and antiapoptotic marker Bcl-xl along with upregulation of preapoptotic marker Bax. Further, reduction in mTOR activity by PEGCCF-DOX indicates reduced P-gp activity due to P-gp downregulation as well and, hence, PEGCCF causes enhanced chemosensitization and induces apoptosis. Substantially enhanced apoptotic activity of DOX (10-fold) in MDA-MB-231(DR) cells confirmed apoptotic potential of PEGCCF. Conclusively, PEGCCF nanomicelles are promising delivery systems for improving anticancer activity of DOX in TNBC, thereby reducing its side effects and may act as a potential carrier for other chemotherapeutic agents.