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Systemic delivery of peptides and proteins across absorptive mucosae.

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Controlled Drug-Delivery Research Center, Rutgers University, College of Pharmacy, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


As therapeutic peptides and proteins become readily available through rapid advances in recombinant technology, and because rapid presystemic elimination renders them ineffective when administered orally, pharmaceutical scientists are faced with the challenge of delivering these macromolecules systemically; therefore, alternative routes of delivery need to be investigated. Transmucosal delivery through absorptive mucosae represents one of these alternatives. This route has the advantage of being noninvasive and of bypassing hepatogastrointestinal clearance. The absorptive mucosae that have been investigated for delivery of peptides and proteins include buccal, nasal, pulmonary, rectal, and vaginal. Nasal delivery has been studied extensively and has been the most successful--nasal sprays for buserelin, desmopressin, oxytocin, and calcitonin are already available commercially. In general, enzyme inhibitors and permeation enhancers need to be coadministered for successful delivery of these biopharmaceuticals. Classes of enhancers used for transmucosal delivery include bile salts, dihydrofusidates, cyclodextrins, surfactants, and chelating agents. Each of these agents exerts its enhancing effects by a different mechanism, and each has been associated with adverse effects. This article discusses the physiology of each of the mucosae used, the fundamentals of transmucosal delivery, and recent progress in systemic delivery of therapeutic peptides and proteins across each of the mucosae; in an effort to highlight principles of transmucosal delivery, it also discusses the transmucosal delivery of enkephalin, calcitonin, and insulin as case studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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