Targeted Drug Carriers: Biological Activity of the N-Acetylcysteine-Liposome System
Targeted drug carriers are designed to selectively deliver a pharmacological agent to the site of action in order to increase efficacy and minimize side-effects. Several different types of carriers ranging from antibodies to cellular systems are used to deliver drugs. Examples of the various types of carrier are discussed, with emphasis on the delivery of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to the liver in the treatment of acetaminophen intoxication. In order to increase the efficacy of NAC as an antidote, a liposome drug-delivery system was developed which carries the compound directly to the liver. Positively charged NAC-liposomes, prepared by the chloroform film method, were highly effective in reversing acetaminophen-induced lethality in mice. This study provides excellent evidence that hepatic parenchymal cells take up liposomes rapidly, and it identifies the liver as a natural target organ for liposome drug delivery.
KeywordsDrug Carrier Carrier System Liposome Drug Unilamellar Liposome Hepatocyte Plasma Membrane
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