J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2021 Mar 1;17(3):382-398. doi: 10.1166/jbn.2021.3032.
Multidrug resistance (MDR) remains a significant impediment to chemotherapy during cancer therapy. In this study, the amphiphilic biomaterials PEI-TOS and HA-QU were synthesized to self-assemble into PEI-TOS/HA-QU core-shell micelles for the targeted codelivery of paclitaxel (PTX) and quercetin (QU) to alleviate multidrug drug resistance and enhance therapeutic efficacy. The PTX-loaded micelles possessed a uniform particle size (167.60 ± 8.185 nm), stable negative charge (-19.13 ± 0.321 mV), and pH-responsive drug release with good compatibility. The drug-loaded micelles increased the chemosensitivity of MDR tumor cells (MDA-MB-231/MDR1) to PTX and activated mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathways (the IC50 was 2.22-fold lower than that of PTX alone). Moreover, PEI-TOS/HA-QU micelles increased the cellular uptake of lipophilic antitumor drugs by downregulating P-gp expression in MDA-MB-231/MDR1 cells. Compared with Taxol, PTX-loaded PEI-TOS/HA-QU micelles presented excellent antitumor efficacy in tumor-bearing mice, with an average tumor size that was 3.7-fold lower than that of the control group. The drug-loaded formulation showed low in vitro / in vivo toxicity and better tumor accumulation than the free drug, which led to a high tumor inhibition rate of 80.56% and considerable biocompatibility. This work describes a new platform for the codelivery of lipophilic anticancer drugs and natural active ingredients such as PTX and QU for the treatment of MDR cancer cells.