Evaluation of the effect of crocetin on antitumor activity of doxorubicin encapsulated in PLGA nanoparticles

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Biology, School of Science, Payame Noor University, Mashhad, Iran

2 Biotechnology Section, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad,Iran


Objective(s): The current study reports investigation of codelivery by PLGA nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with crocetin (Cro), a natural carotenoid dicarboxylic acid that is found in the crocus flower, and Doxorubicin (DOX).
Materials and Methods: Double emulsion/solvent evaporation method was used for preparation of PLGA nanoparticles containing Dox and Cro. Characterizations of prepared NPs were investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and dynamic light scattering analysis. In vitro Cytotoxicity of DOX and Cro loaded PLGA NPs (PLGA-DOX-Cro) on MCF-7 cell line was evaluated using MTT test. Flow cytometry experiments were implemented to distinguish cells undergoing apoptosis from those undergoing necrosis. Furthermore the expression of caspase 3 was examined by western blot analysis.
Results: The prepared formulations had size of 150- 300 nm. Furthermore, PLGA-DOX-Cro nanoparticles inhibited MCF-7 tumor cells growth more efficiently than either DOX or Cro alone at the same concentrations, as quantified by MTT assay and flow cytometry. Studies on cellular uptake of DOX-Cro-NPs demonstrated that NPs were effectively taken up by MCF-7 tumor cells.
Conclusion: This study suggested that DOX-Cro-NPs may have promising applications in breast cancer therapy.


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