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Current Drug Delivery


ISSN (Print): 1567-2018
ISSN (Online): 1875-5704

A Rational Design for the Nanoencapsulation of Poisonous Animal Venoms in Liposomes Prepared with Natural Phospholipids

Author(s): Maria Helena Bueno da Costa, Osvaldo A. Sant'Anna, Wagner Quintilio, Reto Albert Schwendener and Pedro Soares de Araujo

Volume 9, Issue 6, 2012

Page: [637 - 644] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/156720112803529747

Price: $65


Liposomes have been used since the 1970’s to encapsulate drugs envisaging enhancement in efficacy and therapeutic index, avoidance of side effects and increase in the encapsulated agent stability. The major problem when encapsulating snake venoms is the liposomal membrane instability caused by venom phospholipases. Here the results obtained encapsulating Crotalus durissimus terrificus and a pool of Bothropic venoms within liposomes (LC and LB, respectively) used to produce anti-venom sera are presented. The strategy was to modify the immunization protocol to enhance antibody production and to minimize toxic effects by encapsulating inactivated venoms within stabilized liposomes. Chemically modified venoms were solubilized in a buffer containing an inhibitor and a chelating agent. The structures of the venoms were analyzed by UV, CD spectroscopy and ELISA. In spite of the differences in the helical content between natural and modified venoms, they were recognized by horse anti-sera. To maintain long-term stability, mannitol was used as a cryoprotectant. The encapsulation efficiencies were 59 % (LB) and 99 % (LC), as followed by filtration on Sephacryl S1000. Light scattering measurements led us to conclude that both, LB (119 ±47 nm) and LC (147±56 nm) were stable for 22 days at 4 oC, even after lyophilization. Genetically selected mice and mixed breed horses were immunized with these formulations. The animals did not show clinical symptoms of venom toxicity. Both, LB and LC enhanced by at least 30 % the antibody titers 25 days after injection and total IgG titers remained high 91 days after immunization. The liposomal formulation clearly exhibited adjuvant properties.

Keywords: Nanoencapsulation, liposome stability, particulate adjuvants, passive immunotherapy, venom immunotherapy

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