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Drug Deliv. 2001 Jul-Aug;8(3):125-34.

Altered pharmacokinetics and liver targetability of methotrexate by conjugation with lactosylated albumins.

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  • 1Toxicology Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Daejon.


To enhance the liver targetability, methotrexate (MTX) was conjugated with albumin previously substituted with varying content of lactose (L0, L5, and L24). The uptake of MTX by rat hepatocytes in vitro increased according to the increase in the lactose content on the albumin conjugates. The MTX level in the plasma and various organs was determined by counting the radioactivity of [3H]MTX and by HPLC assay, separately, to monitor the in vivo fate of MTX not only as total, regardless of forms of MTX, but also as free/intact MTX level. Conjugation of MTX with albumin alone provided the enhanced delivery of MTX to the liver, accompanied by decreased accumulation in the kidney, but by increased accumulation in other nontarget organs such lung, heart, and spleen. Lactosylation of albumin conjugates further enhanced the delivery of MTX to the liver in a lactose content-dependent manner, accompanied by decreased accumulation of MTX in the lung and heart as well as kidney. The total MTX level accumulated in the liver was 2.9-, 4.1-, and 11.0-fold higher at 1 h and 5.4-, 7.0-, and 16.5-fold higher at 4 h after injection of MTX-L0, L5, L24 albumin conjugates compared with MTX alone. MTX conjugates with lactosylated albumin provided low but prolonged level of free/intact MTX in the liver. Taken together, the pharmacokinetics and liver targetability of MTX could be favorably modulated by controlling the lactose content on the albumin conjugates. Lactosylated albumin conjugation might also provide prolonged and targeted delivery of other drugs for the treatment of liver diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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