Surfactant-polymer nanoparticles overcome P-glycoprotein-mediated drug efflux

Mahesh D. Chavanpatil, Ayman Khdair, Brigitte Gerard, Corbin Bachmeier, Donald W. Miller, Malathy P.V. Shekhar, Jayanth Panyam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Nanoparticles enhance the therapeutic efficacy of an encapsulated drug by increasing and sustaining the delivery of the drug inside the cell. We have previously demonstrated that Aerosol OT (AOT)-alginate nanoparticles, a novel formulation developed recently in our laboratory, significantly enhance the therapeutic efficacy of encapsulated drugs like doxorubicin in drug-sensitive tumor cells. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the drug delivery potential of AOT-alginate nanoparticles in drug-resistant cells overexpressing the drug efflux transporter, P-glycoprotein (P-gp). AOT-alginate nanoparticles were formulated using an emulsion-cross-linking process. Rhodamine 123 and doxorubicin were used as model P-gp substrates. Cytotoxicity of nanoparticle-encapsulated doxorubicin and kinetics of nanoparticle-mediated cellular drug delivery were evaluated in both drug-sensitive and -resistant cell lines. AOT-alginate nanoparticles enhanced the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin significantly in drug-resistant cells. The enhancement in cytotoxicity with nanoparticles was sustained over a period of 10 days. Uptake studies with rhodamine-loaded nanoparticles indicated that nanoparticles significantly increased the level of drug accumulation in resistant cells at nanoparticle doses higher than 200 μg/mL. Blank nanoparticles also improved rhodamine accumulation in drug-resistant cells in a dose-dependent manner. Nanoparticle-mediated enhancement in rhodamine accumulation was not because of membrane permeabilization. Fluorescence microscopy studies demonstrated that nanoparticle-encapsulated doxorubicin was predominantly localized in the perinuclear vesicles and to a lesser extent in the nucleus, whereas free doxorubicin accumulated mainly in peripheral endocytic vesicles. Inhibition of P-gp-mediated rhodamine efflux with AOT-alginate nanoparticles was confirmed in primary brain microvessel endothelial cells. In conclusion, an AOT-alginate nanoparticle system enhanced the cellular delivery and therapeutic efficacy of P-gp substrates in P-gp-overexpressing cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-738
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular pharmaceutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Drug efflux
  • Multidrug resistance
  • Polymer
  • Surfactants
  • Sustained release


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