Transdermal Penetrating Peptide Conjugated Liposomes as Drug Delivery Carrier Comprising Macromolecules

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Hyung Jun Lim, Jinseo Lee, Su In Park, Soo Hyeon Heo, Beom-Jin Lee, Moon Sam Shin


: The aim of the study was to investigate a system using liposomes and cell penetrating peptides (CPP) for optimal transdermal delivery of macromolecules. Typical DOPE liposomes were prepared with lipid mixture (DOPE:PC:Chol = 1.5:1.5:2.0, molar ratio) and active materials (Rhodamine B; MW ~480 and Dextran-RITC; MW ~10,000).  CPP-conjugated DOPE liposomescontaining active materials were prepared by conjugating the peptide to DOPE liposomes (DOPE:PC:Chol:DSPE-PEG-Mal = 1.5:1.1:2.0:0.2 or 0.4, molar ratio). Physical properties of both liposomes were evaluated, including particle size and zeta potential. The particle sizes of typical liposome and CPP-DOPE liposome were approximately 100 nm, and the zeta potential values of both liposomes were approximately -25mV and over +11mV respectively. Moreover, cellular uptake efficiency was assessed by flow cytometry (FACS). CPP-conjugated liposomes resulted higher cellular uptake efficiency compared to typical DOPE liposomes, showing higher fluorescent intensity in CPP-DOPE liposomes. In confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) studies, both cellular uptake and skin permeation were visually estimated. In the case of Rhodamine B, having a relatively small molecular weight,absorption into the cell was successful, and showed the highest rate of cellular uptake with CPP-DOPE liposomes. Dextran-RITC, a macromolecule with a relatively bigger molecular weight, showed similar results to Rhodamine B. In terms of skin permeation, CPP-DOPE liposomes containing Rhodamine B showed noticeable skin absorption after 4 and 18 hours, and the permeation range was wider and thicker than that with typical liposomes. For Dextran-RITC, with typical DOPE liposome, it was hardly permeable through the skin, but with CPP-DOPE liposomes, on the other hand, the skin permeations after 4 and 18 hours were remarkable. The improved cellular uptake and skin permeation of the CPP-conjugated liposomes are due to the cationic arginine-rich peptide. In vivo studies also proved that the CPP-conjugated liposomes are superior in depigmentation and anti-wrinkle studies than typical liposomes. These results demonstrate that the CPP-conjugated liposomes could also be effective for transdermal drug delivery of antioxidant and anti-aging therapeutics.

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