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Folate Receptor-Targeted Dendrimer-Methotrexate Conjugate for Inflammatory Arthritis

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Generation 5 (G5) poly(amidoamide) (PAMAM) dendrimers are synthetic polymers that have been broadly applied as drug delivery carriers. Methotrexate (MTX), an anti-folate metabolite, has been successfully used as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the clinic. In this study, we examine the therapeutic efficacy of G5 PAMAM dendrimer methotrexate conjugates (G5-MTX) that also have folic acid (FA) conjugated to the G5-MTX (G5-FA-MTX) to target inflammation-activated folate receptors overexpressing macrophages. These cells are thought to play an important role in the development of RA. With G5 serving as a control, the in vitro binding affinities of G5-FA-MTX and G5-MTX to activated macrophages were assessed in RAW264.7, NR8383 and primary rat peritoneal macrophages. The results indicated that the binding of either conjugate to macrophages was concentration- and temperature-dependent and could be blocked by the presence of 6.25 mM free FA (p < 0.005). The preventive effects of G5-MTX and G5-FA-MTX conjugates on the development of arthritis were explored on an adjuvant-induced inflammatory arthritis model and had similar preventive effects in inflammatory arthritis at a MTX equivalent dose of 4.95 μmol/kg. These studies indicated that when multiples of MTX are conjugated on dendritic polymers, they specifically bind to folate receptor overexpressing macrophages and have comparable anti-inflammatory effects to folate targeted MTX conjugated polymers.
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Keywords: DENDRIMER-METHOTREXATE CONJUGATES; FOLATE RECEPTOR; FOLIC ACID; INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS; MACROPHAGES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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