Background: In this study, we developed a drug of IFN-α combined with pPB-SSLs, which specifically
target at platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β).
Aim: The aim of this study is to improve the limitations of IFN-α including insufficient drug concentration for the
target cells and side-effects causing serious concerns in treatment of hepatic fibrosis.
Methods: We constructed the targeted stable liposomes (SSLs) that not only increase the half-life period of IFN-
α, but also can deliver IFN-α to hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Subsequently, the anti-hepatic-fibrosis effect of
pPB-SSL-IFN-α was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Immunofluorescent assay showed that the pPB-SSL
particles were able to be easily taken up by 3T3 cells. The cellular distribution experiment demonstrated that most
of the pPB-SSL-IFN-α would accumulate around the fibroblast, and the cell would be invaded by pPB-SSLIFN-
Results: The pPB-SSL-IFN-α showed an entrapment efficiency of 39.73 ± 5.21% for IFN-α and the particles
reached nanoscale level. It showed more significant alleviated performance for hepatic fibrosis than IFN-α. Both
in vitro and in vivo, the pPB-SSL-IFN-α could contribute to reduction or inhibition in the expression of TGF-β1
and α-SMA even cleavage of caspase-3. Moreover, it was found that the pPB-SSL-IFN-α induced the apoptosis
of 3T3 cells by inhibiting the expression of TGF-β1 as well as α-SMA. Under observation for fibrotic liver of
mice treated with pPB-SSL-IFN-α, the semiquantitative score for collagen I, TGF-β1 and α-SMA were all inferior
to the control group and those treated with PEG-IFN-α, SSL-IFN-α or IFN-α. In addition, pPB-SSL-IFN-α
has been detected to down-regulate the expression of TNF-α and IL-1β in comparison with model group
(P<0.01). And the phosphorylations of JAK1 and STAT1 were enhanced by pPB-SSL-IFN-αin comparison with
model groups (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: All results of our present research indicated that the pPB-SSL-IFN-α might be an alternative antiliver
fibrotic drug and the synthetic method may offer a new access to the anti-hepatic fibrosis research and development.