The influence of repeated injections on phan-nacokinetics and biodistribution of different types of sterically stabilized immunoliposomes

G Bendas*, U Rothe, GL Scherphof, JAAM Kamps

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Sterically stabilized immunoliposomes (IL) with diameters of about 135 run carrying mouse IgG, either coupled directly to the liposome surface, or linked to the terminal ends of grafted poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains by a recently described conjugation procedure (Cyanur-PEG-PE), were intravenously injected into rats and the elimination kinetics and biodistribution were determined and compared with control liposomes. The amounts of conjugated antibodies were about 30 mug/mumol total lipid for all IL. In naive rats, plain pegylated liposomes displayed the longest blood circulation time, whereas the terminal-coupled IL exhibited the fastest elimination. Liposomes containing the underivatized anchor molecules circulate nearly as long as plain pegylated liposomes, indicating that the fast elimination of the IL can be attributed to the presence of antibodies.

A second injection of identical liposomes 14 days after the first injection had a considerable influence on the pharmacokinetic parameters of the liposomes. The circulation time of plain pegylated liposomes drastically dropped by half and their uptake by the liver increased concomitantly, indicating that the PEG, upon repeated injection, ceases to function as an efficient barrier reducing opsonization and/or immune reactions. The circulation time of conventional IL was moderately reduced upon a second injection, whereas that of the terminally coupled IL was nearly unaffected. These differences among the IL demonstrate that the pharmacokinetic behavior of IL is strongly dependent on the antibody conjugation site on the liposome. The observed effects of repeated injections were similar for liposomes of 90-nm diameter. The phenomena described may have important implications for the repeated application of IL as drug carriers. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberPII S0005-2736(02)00655-7
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10-Jan-2003


  • sterically stabilized liposome
  • immunoliposome
  • immunogenicity
  • drug targeting

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