The use of polyion complex micelles to enhance the oral delivery of salmon calcitonin and transport mechanism across the intestinal epithelial barrier.

PMID 22975427


The objective of the present study was to demonstrate the effect of polyanionic copolymer mPEG-grafted-alginic acid (mPEG-g-AA)-based polyion complex (PIC) micelles on enhancing the oral absorption of salmon calcitonin (sCT) in vivo and in vitro and identify the transepithelial transport mechanism of PIC micelles across the intestinal barrier. mPEG-g-AA was first successfully synthesized and characterized in cytotoxicity. The PIC micelles were approximately of 72 nm in diameter with a narrow distribution. The extremely significant enhancement of hypocalcemia efficacy of sCT-loaded PIC micelles in rats was evidenced by intraduodenal administration in comparison with sCT solution. The presence of mPEG-grafted-chitosan in PIC micelles had no favorable effect on this action in the referred content. In the Caco-2 transport studies, PIC micelles could significantly increase the permeability of sCT across Caco-2 monolayers without significantly affecting transepithelial electrical resistance values during the transport study. No evident alterations in the F-actin cytoskeleton were detected by confocal microscope observation following treatment of the cell monolayers with PIC micelles, which further certified the incapacity of PIC micelles to open the intercellular tight junctions. In addition, TEM observations showed that the intact PIC micelles were transported across the everted gut sac. These suggested that the transport of PIC micelles across Caco-2 cell monolayers involve a predominant transcytosis mechanism via endocytosis rather than paracellular pathway. Furthermore, PIC micelles were localized in both the cytoplasm and the nuclei observed by CLSM. Therefore, PIC micelles might be a potentially applicable tool for enhancing the oral absorption of cationic peptide and protein drugs.