Possibility of active targeting to tumor tissues with liposomes

  • Maruyama K
  • Ishida O
  • Takizawa T
 et al. 
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In terms of active targeting by immunoliposomes, two anatomical compartments are considerable for targeting sites. One is located a readily accessible site in intravascular, and another is a much less accessible target site located in the extravascular. However, it was made clear that the active targeting with immunoliposomes is determined by two kinetically competing processes, such as binding to the target site and uptake by the RES. To overcome these contradictions, we have designed a new type of long- circulating immunoliposome, which was PEG-immunoliposome attached antibodies at the distal end of PEG chain, so called the pendant type immunoliposome. The pendant type immunoliposome showed much higher targetability than the ordinary immunoliposomes to both targeting sites of lung endothelial cells and solid tumor tissue. This is due to the free PEG chains (not linked to the antibody) effectively avoiding the RES uptake of liposomes, resulting in elevated the blood concentration and enhanced the target binding of immunoliposomes. The presence of free PEG does not interfere with the binding of the terminally linked antibody to the antigen. For targeting to the vascular endothelial surface in the lung, 34A antibody, which is highly specific to mouse pulmonary endothelial cells, was conjugated to make the pendant type immunoliposomes (34A-PEG-ILP). 34A-PFG-ILP showed significantly higher targeting degree than the ordinary type of immunoliposomes. For targeting to the solid tumor tissue, Fab' fragment of 21B2 antibody which is anti-human CFA and transferrin (TF) were used. Both pendant type immunoliposomes (Fab'-PFG-ILP and TF-PEG-ILP) showed the low RES uptake and the long circulation time, and resulted in enhanced accumulation of the liposomes in the solid tumor. TF-PEG-ILP was internalized into tumor cells with receptor mediated endocytosis, after extravasation into tumor tissue. The pendant type immunoliposome can escape from the gaps between adjacent endothelial cells and openings at the vessel termini during tumor angiogenesis by passive convective transport much rather than ligand directed targeting. Active targeting to tumor tissue with the pendant type immunoliposome is particularly important for many highly toxic anticancer drugs for cancer chemotherapy. An ultimate goal of pendant type immunoliposome is the incorporation of a fusogenic molecule that would induce fusion of liposome following their binding to the target cells or their internalization by endocytosis. Such liposomal formulations should be useful for endocytotic internalization of plasmid DNA and other bioactive materials.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Active targeting
  • Extravasation
  • Immunoliposome
  • Polyethyleneglycol
  • Transferrin

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  • Kazuo Maruyama

  • Osamu Ishida

  • Tomoko Takizawa

  • Kunikazu Moribe

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