We studied the effects of density and thickness of PEG coating on in vitro cellular uptake, and dark- and photo-toxicity of liposomal formulations (Fospeg) of the photodynamic agent meta-tetrahydroxyphenyl chlorin (m-THPC). The cellular uptake of various Fospeg formulations was determined by flow cytometry in CCD-34Lu human normal fibroblasts and A549 lung cancer cells. Dark and light-induced cytotoxicity was measured by MTS assay after exposure to increasing concentrations of Fospeg only and followed by irradiation with red light. Intracellular localization of m-THPC delivered by Fospeg was determined by fluorescence microscopy.
The studies were carried out in comparison with m-THPC delivered by the standard solvent. In the dark all Fospeg formulations were less cytotoxic than m-THPC in standard solvent (ethanol/poly(ethylene glycol 400/water; 20 : 30 : 50 by vol.) and cytotoxicity decreased by increasing PEGylation. m-THPC delivered as Fospeg was internalised by endocytosis and localised mainly in the Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum. The efficiency of cellular uptake of Fospeg was reduced by 30–40% with respect to m-THPC in standard solution causing a slight reduction of the phototoxicity but without serious impairment of the efficacy of the treatment. Our study suggests that PEGylated liposomes are promising nanocarriers for the delivery of photosensitisers for photodynamic therapy because they reduce dark cytotoxicity while preserving therapeutic efficacy.
Compagnin, C., Moret, F., Celotti, L., Miotto, G., Woodhams, J.H., MacRobert, A.J., Scheglmann, D., Iratni, S. and Reddi, E., 2011. Meta-tetra (hydroxyphenyl) chlorin-loaded liposomes sterically stabilised with poly (ethylene glycol) of different length and density: characterisation, in vitro cellular uptake and phototoxicity. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 10(11), pp.1751-1759.
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