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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2011 Jun 15;253(3):270-81. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2011.04.010. Epub 2011 Apr 28.

Poly (lactide-co-glycolide) acid nanoencapsulation of a synthetic coumarin: cytotoxicity and bio-distribution in mice, in cancer cell line and interaction with calf thymus DNA as target.

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Cytogenetyics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani-741235, India.


Several naturally occurring coumarin compounds, including scopoletin (7 hydroxy-6 methoxycoumarin), of plant origin have been reported to have anti-cancer potentials. A related but chemically synthesized coumarin, 4-methyl-7-hydroxy coumarin (SC), was also shown to have similar anti-cancer potentials. In the present study, to test if nano-encapsulated SC could be a more potent anti-cancer agent, we encapsulated SC with poly lactide-co-glycolide acid (PLGA) nanoparticles (Nano Coumarin; NC) and tested its potentials with a variety of protocols. NC demonstrated greater efficiency of drug uptake and showed anti-cancer potentials in melanoma cell line A375, as revealed from scanning electronic and atomic force microscopies. To test its possible interaction with target DNA, the combined data of circular dichroism spectra (CD) and melting temperature profile (T(m)) of calf thymus DNA treated with NC were analyzed. Results indicated a concentration dependent interaction of NC with calf thymus DNA, bringing in effective change in structure and conformation, and forming a new complex that increased its stability. Particle size and morphology of NC determined through polydispersity index and zeta potential using dynamic light scattering qualified NC to be a more potent anti-cancer agent than SC. Further, SC and NC showed negligible cytotoxic effects on normal skin cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells of mice. Distribution assay of PLGA nanoparticles in different tissues like brain, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, and spleen in mice revealed the presence of nanoparticles in different tissues including brain, indicating that the particles could cross the blood brain barrier, significant information for drug design.

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