Synthesis and assessment of first-generation polyamidoamine dendrimer prodrugs to enhance the cellular permeability of P-gp substrates

Mohammad Najlah, Sally Freeman, David Attwood, Antony D'Emanuele

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential use of first-generation (G1) polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers as drug carriers to enhance the permeability, hence oral absorption, of drugs that are substrates for P-glycoprotein (P-gp) efflux transporters. G1 PAMAM dendrimer-based prodrugs of the water-insoluble P-gp substrate terfenadine (Ter) were synthesized using succinic acid (suc) or succinyl-diethylene glycol (suc-deg) as a linker/spacer (to yield G1-suc-Ter and G1-suc-deg-Ter, respectively). In addition, the permeability of G1-suc-deg-Ter was enhanced by attaching two lauroyl chains (L) to the dendrimer surface (L2-G1-suc-deg-Ter). All of the G1 dendrimer- terfenadine prodrugs were more hydrophilic than the parent drug, as evaluated by drug partitioning between 1-octanol and phosphate buffer at pH 7.4 (log K app). The influence of the dendrimer prodrugs on the integrity and viability of human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma cells (Caco-2) was determined by measuring the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and leakage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme, respectively. The LDH assay indicated that the dendrimer prodrugs had no impact on the viability of Caco-2 cells up to a concentration of 1 mM. However, the IC50 of the prodrugs was lower than that of G1 PAMAM dendrimer because of the high toxicity of terfenadine. Measurements of the transport of dendrimer prodrugs across monolayers of Caco-2 cells showed an increase of the apparent permeability coefficient (P app) of terfenadine in both apical-to-basolateral (A → B) and basolateral-to-apical (B → A) directions after its conjugation to G1 PAMAM dendrimer. The A → B Papp of the dendrimer prodrugs was significantly greater than B → A Papp. The surface-modified dendrimer prodrug L2-G1-suc-deg-Ter showed the highest A → B permeability among the conjugates. © 2007 American Chemical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)937-946
    Number of pages9
    JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2007


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