Chemotherapy outcomes for the treatment of glioma remains unsatisfactory due to the inefficient drug transport across the blood[sbnd]brain barrier (BBB) and insufficient drug accumulation in the tumor region. Although many approaches, including various nanosystems, have been developed to promote the distribution of chemotherapeutics in the brain tumor, the delivery efficiency and the possible damage to the normal brain function still greatly restrict the clinical application of the nanocarriers. Therefore, it is urgent and necessary to discover more safe and effective BBB penetration and glioma-targeting strategies. In the present study, menthol, one of the strongest BBB penetration enhancers screened from traditional Chinese medicine, was conjugated to casein, a natural food protein with brain targeting capability. Then the conjugate self-assembled into the nanoparticles to load anti-cancer drugs. The nanoparticles were characterized to have appropriate size, spheroid shape and high loading drug capacity. Tumor spheroid penetration experiments demonstrated that penetration ability of menthol-modified casein nanoparticles (M-CA-NP) into the tumor were much deeper than that of unmodified nanoparticles. In vivo imaging further verified that M-CA-NPs exhibited higher brain tumor distribution than unmodified nanoparticles. The median survival time of glioma-bearing mice treated with HCPT-M-CA-NPs was significantly prolonged than those treated with free HCPT or HCPT-CA-NPs. HE staining of the organs indicated the safety of the nanoparticles. Therefore, the study combined the advantages of traditional Chinese medicine strategy with modern delivery technology for brain targeting, and provide a safe and effective approach for glioma therapy.
Gao, C., Liang, J., Zhu, Y., Ling, C., Cheng, Z., Li, R., … Wang, J. (2019). Menthol-modified casein nanoparticles loading 10-hydroxycamptothecin for glioma targeting therapy. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, 9(4), 843–857. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsb.2019.01.006