Rational design and synthesis of drug delivery platforms for treating diseases associated with intestinal inflammation
Wilson, David Scott
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Over 500 million people worldwide suffer from disease associated with intestinal inflammation, including gastric cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, h. pylori infections, and numerous viral and bacterial infections. Although potentially effective therapeutics exist for many of these pathologies, delivery challenges thwart their clinical viability. The objective of this work was to develop drug delivery platforms that could target toxic immunomodulatory therapeutics to diseased intestinal tissues. To meet this objective, we developed an oral delivery vehicle for siRNA and an NF-κB inhibiting nanoparticle that reduces drug-resistance. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) represents a promising treatment strategy for numerous gastrointestinal (GI) diseases; however, the oral delivery of siRNA to inflamed intestinal tissues remains a major challenge. In this presentation, we describe a delivery vehicle for siRNA, termed thioketal nanoparticles (TKNs), that can orally deliver siRNA to sites of intestinal inflammation, and thus inhibit gene expression in diseased intestinal tissue. Using a murine model of ulcerative colitis, we demonstrate that orally administered TKNs loaded with TNFα-siRNA (TNFα-TKNs) diminish TNFα messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in the colon and protect mice from intestinal inflammation. Activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) results in the expression of numerous prosurvival genes that block apoptosis, thus mitigating the efficacy of chemotherapeutics. Paradoxically, all conventional therapeutics for cancer activate NF-κB, and in doing so initiate drug resistance. Although adjuvant strategies that block NF-κB activation could potentiate the activity of chemotherapeutics in drug resistant tumors, clinical evidence suggests that current adjuvant strategies also increase apoptosis in non-malignant cells. In this presentation, we present a nanoparticle, formulated from a polymeric NF-κB-inhibiting prodrug, that target the chemotherapeutic irinotecan (CPT-11) to solid tumors, and thus abrogates CPT-11-mediated drug resistance and inhibits tumor growth. In order to maximize the amount of NF-κB inhibitor delivered to tumors, we synthesized a novel polymeric prodrug, termed PCAPE, that releases the NF-κB inhibitor caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) as its major degradation product. Using a murine model of colitis-associated cancer, we demonstrate that when administered systemically, CPT-11-loaded PCAPE-nanoparticles (CCNPs) are three time more effective than a cocktail of the free drugs at reducing both tumor multiplicity and tumor size.