Journal of drug targeting

A low-molecular-weight heparin-coated doxorubicin-liposome for the prevention of melanoma metastasis.

PMID 25541466


Tumor metastasis is the biggest challenge in cancer therapy. During the metastasis process, metastatic cells could acquire stealth ability toward immune system through the formation of a protection cloak by hijacking platelets (PTs). Heparins, a heterogeneous mixture of glycosaminoglycans, can inhibit metastatic cascades by blocking P-selectin-mediated intercellular adhesion between tumor cells and PTs. In this study, low-molecular-weight heparin-coated doxorubicin-loaded liposome (LMWH-DOX-Lip) was developed for metastasis preventative therapy. The formation of LMWH-DOX-Lip was based on electrostatic interactions between the negatively charged heparins and cationic lipids. LMWH-DOX-Lip prepared at the optimum prescription possessed high entrapment efficiency, ideal particle size and zeta potential. Morphology of LMWH-DOX-Lip was characterized by atomic force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The results of confocal microscopic observations and flow cytometry analysis indicated that LMWH-DOX-Lip mediated an efficient cellular uptake in B16F10 melanoma cell line. Besides, LMWH-DOX-Lip displayed an increased cytotoxic over their unmodified counterparts. Furthermore, the inhibition effect of LMWH-DOX-Lip on adhesion between tumor cells and PTs/P-selectin was observed. In vivo study performed on a pulmonary melanoma mouse model revealed a substantially tumor metastasis prevention by LMWH-DOX-Lip. All these results suggested that LMWH-DOX-Lip could significantly inhibit metastasis through preventing the tumor cell-platelet interactions and in the meantime suppressed tumor growth.