Theranostics 2012; 2(11):1054-1063. doi:10.7150/thno.3705

Research Paper

Low Molecular Weight Hydroxyethyl Chitosan-Prednisolone Conjugate for Renal Targeting Therapy: Synthesis, Characterization and In Vivo Studies

Xia-kai He1*, Zhi-xiang Yuan2*✉, Xiao-juan Wu3, Chao-qun Xu2, Wan-yu Li4

1. School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610075 P. R. China;
2. Institute of pharmacy, Sichuan Academy of Chinese Medicine Sciences, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610041 P. R. China;
3. Integrative Traditional and Western Medicine hospital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610041 P. R. China;
4. School of Pharmacy, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016 P. R. China.
* Both contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

To further evaluate the potential renal targeting profile of low molecular weight hydroxyethyl chitosan (LMWHC) we developed before, prednisolone (Pre) was conjugated with LMWHC by EDC/NHS chemistry to improve the therapeutic effect of glucocorticoids in vivo. The conjugate was denoted as LMWHC-Pre. The prednisolone content of the conjugate was determined by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with Kromasil C18 column. The results showed that the average coupling degree of prednisolone to LMWHC was 76.7±3.2 μg·mg-1. The stability and physicochemical characterization of LMWHC-Pre under various conditions were also investigated. To study the fate of LMWHC-Pre after intravenous (i.v.) administration, fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) was coupled to the conjugate to explore the renal targeting efficacy. The in vivo results showed that significant amount of the conjugate was accumulated into the kidneys while negligible signal could be detected when the mixture of FITC-LMWHC and prednisolone was co-administered. The preliminary pharmacodynamics study of LMWHC-Pre showed that the conjugate could effectively alleviate the nephrotic syndrome of rats induced by minimal change nephrosis (MCN) model. Toxicity study also revealed that there was little glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis by LMWHC-Pre upon 20 days of treatment. From this study, LMWHC-Pre may be employed as an effective potential drug candidate for the treatment of chronic renal disease.

Keywords: renal targeting, prednisolone, LMWHC-Pre conjugate, MCN model, osteoporosis.

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How to cite this article:
He Xk, Yuan Zx, Wu Xj, Xu Cq, Li Wy. Low Molecular Weight Hydroxyethyl Chitosan-Prednisolone Conjugate for Renal Targeting Therapy: Synthesis, Characterization and In Vivo Studies. Theranostics 2012; 2(11):1054-1063. doi:10.7150/thno.3705. Available from http://www.thno.org/v02p1054.htm