, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 2051-2057
Date: 21 Oct 2005

Development of Stealth Liposome Formulation of 2′-Deoxyinosine as 5-Fluorouracil Modulator: In Vitro and In Vivo Study

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The aims of this study were to develop a stealth, pegylated liposomal formulation of 2′-deoxyinosine (d-Ino), a 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) modulator, to evaluate its efficacy in vitro and in tumor-bearing mice, and to study its pharmacokinetics in rats.


After designing a pegylated liposome encapsulating d-Ino (L-d-Ino), we evaluated its efficacy as 5-FU modulator in vitro. Antiproliferative assays, thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibition, and apoptosis studies were carried out to check whether an optimization of 5-FU action was achieved on the 5-FU-resistant SW620 cell line. Animal pharmacokinetic and ex vivo studies were next performed to confirm that L-d-Ino displayed a slower plasma elimination pattern than free d-Ino. Finally, effects on tumor growth of L-d-Ino + 5-FU combination was evaluated in xenografted mice.


We developed a stable, sterile, and homogenous 100-nm population of pegylated liposomes encapsulating 30% of d-Ino. Liposomal d-Ino exhibited a strong potential as 5-FU modulator in vitro by enhancing TS inhibition and subsequent apoptosis induction, while displaying a better pharmacokinetic profile in animals, with a near seven times clearance reduction as compared with the free form. When used in tumor-bearing mice in combination with 5-FU, our results showed next that the association led to 70% of tumor reduction with a doubling median survival time as compared with untreated animals, whereas 5-FU alone was ineffective.


Our data show that liposomal d-Ino, through an optimized pharmacokinetic profile, displays apotenteffect as fluoropyrimidines modulator, both in vitro and in xenografted mice. Besides, we showed here that itispossible to reverse a resistant phenotype to 5-FU, a major drug extensively described in clinical oncology.