ACS applied materials & interfaces

High Tumor Penetration of Paclitaxel Loaded pH Sensitive Cleavable Liposomes by Depletion of Tumor Collagen I in Breast Cancer.

PMID 25845545


The network of collagen I in tumors could prevent the penetration of drugs loaded in nanoparticles, and this would lead to impaired antitumor efficacy. In this study, free losartan (an angiotensin inhibitor) was injected before treatment to reduce the level of collagen I, which could facilitate the penetration of nanoparticles. Then the pH-sensitive cleavable liposomes (Cl-Lip) were injected subsequently to exert the antitumor effect. The Cl-Lip was constituted by PEG(5K)-Hydrazone-PE and DSPE-PEG(2K)-R8. When the Cl-Lip reached to the tumor site by the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, PEG(5K)-Hydrazone-PE was hydrolyzed from the Cl-Lip under the low extra-cellular pH conditions of tumors, then the R8 peptide was exposed, and finally liposomes could be internalized into tumor cells by the mediation of R8 peptide. In vitro experiments showed both the cellular uptake of Cl-Lip by 4T1 cells and cytotoxicity of paclitaxel loaded Cl-Lip (PTX-Cl-Lip) were pH sensitive. In vivo experiments showed the Cl-Lip had a good tumor targeting ability. After depletion of collagen I, Cl-Lip could penetrate into the deep place of tumors, the tumor accumulation of Cl-Lip was further increased by 22.0%, and the oxygen distributed in tumor tissues was also enhanced. The antitumor study indicated free losartan in combination with PTX-Cl-Lip (59.8%) was more effective than injection with PTX-Cl-Lip only (37.8%) in 4T1 tumor bearing mice. All results suggested that depletion of collagen I by losartan dramatically increased the penetration of PTX-Cl-Lip and combination of free losartan and PTX-CL-Lip could lead to better antitumor efficacy of chemical drugs. Thus, the combination strategy might be a promising tactic for better treatment of solid tumors with a high level of collagen I.