Alex E Grill

University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, United States

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Publications (3)12.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The oral absorption of drugs that have poor bioavailability can be enhanced by encapsulation in polymeric nanoparticles. Transcellular transport of nanoparticle-encapsulated drug, possibly through transcytosis, is likely the major mechanism through which nanoparticles improve drug absorption. We hypothesized that the cellular uptake and transport of nanoparticles can be further increased by targeting the folate receptors expressed on the intestinal epithelial cells. The objective of this research was to study the effect of folic acid functionalization on transcellular transport of nanoparticle-encapsulated paclitaxel, a chemotherapeutic with poor oral bioavailability. Surface-functionalized poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles loaded with paclitaxel were prepared by the interfacial activity assisted surface functionalization technique. Transport of paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles was investigated using Caco-2 cell monolayers as an in vitro model. Caco-2 cells were found to express folate receptor and the drug efflux protein, p-glycoprotein, to high levels. Encapsulation of paclitaxel in PLGA nanoparticles resulted in a 5-fold increase in apparent permeability (P(app)) across Caco-2 cells. Functionalization of nanoparticles with folic acid further increased the transport (8-fold higher transport compared to free paclitaxel). Confocal microscopic studies showed that folic acid functionalized nanoparticles were internalized by the cells and that nanoparticles did not have any gross effects on tight junction integrity. In conclusion, our studies indicate that folic acid functionalized nanoparticles have the potential to enhance the oral absorption of drugs with poor oral bioavailability.
    Molecular Pharmaceutics 06/2012; · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus initiates infections and produces virulence factors, including superantigens (SAgs), at mucosal surfaces. The SAg, Toxic Shock Syndrome Toxin-1 (TSST-1) induces cytokine secretion from epithelial cells, antigen presenting cells (APCs) and T lymphocytes, and causes toxic shock syndrome (TSS). This study investigated the mechanism of TSST-1-induced secretion of proinflammatory cytokines from human vaginal epithelial cells (HVECs) and determined if curcumin, an anti-inflammatory agent, could reduce TSST-1-mediated pathology in a rabbit vaginal model of TSS. TSST-1 caused a significant increase in NF-κB-dependent transcription in HVECs that was associated with increased expression of TNF- α, MIP-3α, IL-6 and IL-8. Curcumin, an antagonist of NF-κB-dependent transcription, inhibited IL-8 production from ex vivo porcine vaginal explants at nontoxic doses. In a rabbit model of TSS, co-administration of curcumin with TSST-1 intravaginally reduced lethality by 60% relative to 100% lethality in rabbits receiving TSST-1 alone. In addition, TNF-α was undetectable from serum or vaginal tissue of curcumin treated rabbits that survived. These data suggest that the inflammatory response induced at the mucosal surface by TSST-1 is NF-κB dependent. In addition, the ability of curcumin to prevent TSS in vivo by co-administration with TSST-1 intravaginally suggests that the vaginal mucosal proinflammatory response to TSST-1 is important in the progression of mTSS.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e32813. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nanoparticles formulated using poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) copolymer have emerged as promising carriers for targeted delivery of a wide variety of payloads. However, an important drawback with PLGA nanoparticles is the limited types of functional groups available on the surface for conjugation to targeting ligands. In the current report, we demonstrate that the interfacial activity assisted surface functionalization (IAASF) technique can be used to incorporate reactive functional groups such as maleimide onto the surface of PLGA nanoparticles. The surface maleimide groups were used to conjugate cRGD peptide to nanoparticles. The cRGD peptide targets alpha(v)beta(3) integrins overexpressed on tumor vasculature and some tumor cells, and was used as model targeting ligand in this study. Incorporation of biologically active cRGD peptide on the surface of nanoparticles was confirmed by in vitro cell uptake studies and in vivo tumor accumulation studies. Functionalization of nanoparticles with cRGD peptide increased the cellular uptake of nanoparticles 2-3-fold, and this enhancement in uptake was substantially reduced by the presence of excess cRGD molecules. In a syngeneic mouse 4T1 tumor model, cRGD functionalization resulted in increased accumulation and retention of nanoparticles in the tumor tissue (nearly 2-fold greater area under the curve), confirming the in vivo activity of cRGD functionalized nanoparticles. In conclusion, the IAASF technique enabled the incorporation of reactive maleimide groups on PLGA nanoparticles, which in turn permitted efficient conjugation of biologically active cRGD peptide to the surface of PLGA nanoparticles.
    Molecular Pharmaceutics 08/2010; 7(4):1108-17. · 4.57 Impact Factor