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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2001 Feb;53(2):155-66.

In-vitro and in-vivo evaluation of pH-responsive polymeric micelles in a photodynamic cancer therapy model.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal, Qc, Canada.


pH-sensitive polymeric micelles of randomly and terminally alkylated N-isopropylacrylamide copolymers were prepared and characterized. Aluminium chloride phthalocyanine (AlClPc), a second generation sensitizer for the photodynamic therapy of cancer, was incorporated in the micelles by dialysis. Their photodynamic activities were evaluated in-vitro against EMT-6 mouse mammary tumour cells and in-vivo against EMT-6 tumours implanted intradermally on each hind thigh of Balb/c mice. pH-sensitive polymeric micelles were found to exhibit greater cytotoxicity in-vitro than control Cremophor EL formulations. In the presence of chloroquine, a weak base that raises the internal pH of acidic organelles, in-vitro experiments demonstrated the importance of endosomalllysosomal acidity for the pH-sensitive polymeric micelles to be fully effective. Biodistribution was assessed by fluorescence of tissue extracts after intravenous injection of 2 micromol kg(-1) AlClPc. The results revealed accumulation of AlClPc polymeric micelles in the liver, spleen and lungs, with a lower tumour uptake than AlClPc Cremophor EL formulations. However, polymeric micelles exhibited similar activity in-vivo to the control Cremophor EL formulations, demonstrating the higher potency of AlClPc polymeric micelles when localized in tumour tissue. It was concluded that polymeric micelles represent a good alternative to Cremophor EL preparations for the vectorization of hydrophobic drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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