Increased microvascular permeability contributes to preferential accumulation of Stealth liposomes in tumor tissue.
Stealth liposomes have recently emerged as a promising antitumor drug delivery system, yet no studies have been reported to examine their dynamic behavior at the microcirculatory level. In this investigation, we have used in vivo fluorescence videomicroscopy to study the decay in plasma concentration and the interstitial accumulation of Stealth and conventional liposomes in tumor and granulating tissue microcirculatory preparations. Fluorescently labeled Stealth or conventional liposomes were injected i.v. into rats bearing dorsal skinflap window chambers, some of which contained a vascularized mammary adenocarcinoma. After injection, fluorescent light intensities arising from liposomes within blood vessels and the interstitium were measured over time. These measurements were used to derive plasma pharmacokinetics and vascular permeability coefficients for each liposome species in both tumor and granulating normal tissues. Within the first 90 min after injection, Stealth liposome accumulation in the tumor interstitium was 3-4-fold that for conventional liposomes. The percentage of administered liposomes remaining in the circulation at the end of 90 min was 60.2% for Stealth and 20.4% for conventional liposomes. Tumor vascular permeability was 3.42 +/- 0.78 x 10(-7)cm/s for Stealth and 1.75 x 0.38 x 10(-7)cm/s for conventional liposomes. In normal granulating tissues permeability for the 2 constructs was equivalent at 0.8-0.9 x 10(-7)cm/s. In conclusion, preferential accumulation of Stealth liposomes in tumors was attributable to a combination of slower plasma clearance and higher vascular permeability relative to conventional liposomes. Our method of combining in vivo microscopy with a tumor microcirculatory model provides a unique approach to study quantitatively the delivery of liposomes to tumor tissues, since it can be used to study the process in real time at the microcirculatory level.
Wu, NZ; Da, D; Rudoll, TL; Needham, D; Whorton, AR; Dewhirst, MW
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