Synthesis of controlled-size silver nanoparticles for the administration of methotrexate drug and its activity in colon and lung cancer cells
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AuthorRozalen, M.; Sánchez Polo, Manuel; Fernández Perales, M.; Widmann, T. J.; Rivera Utrilla, José
The Royal Society of Chemistry
Rozalen, M., Sánchez-Polo, M., Fernández-Perales, M., Widmann, T. J., & Rivera-Utrilla, J. (2020). Synthesis of controlled-size silver nanoparticles for the administration of methotrexate drug and its activity in colon and lung cancer cells. RSC Advances, 10(18), 10646-10660.
SponsorshipThe authors are grateful for the financial support of the Ministry of Science and Innovation (CTQ2016-80978-C2-1-R).
A controlled synthesis of methotrexate (MTX) silver nanoparticles (AgNPs-MTX) using borohydride and citrate as reduction and reduction/capping agents, respectively, was performed in order to obtain AgNPs-MTX conjugates with a narrow size distribution. Their characterization showed polydispersed spherical shape nanoparticles with a mean size around 13 nm and distribution range between 7–21 nm. The presence of MTX was confirmed by FTIR and EDX analysis. Spectroscopic determinations suggest the chemisorption of MTX through a carboxylic group (–COOH) onto AgNPs via the exchange with a citrate molecule. Drug loading capacities calculated for AgNPs synthesized using different amounts of MTX were 28, 31 and 40%. In vitro drug release tests depicted similar release profiles for all conjugated amounts releasing between 77 to 85% of the initial MTX loaded into the AgNPs. With respect to free MTX, the addition of the nanocarrier delayed its release and also changed its pharmacokinetics. Free MTX is released after 3 hours following a first order kinetic model, whereas in the presence of AgNPs, a fast initial release is observed during the first 5 hours, followed by a plateau after 24 hours. In this case, AgNPs-MTX fitted a Higuchi model, where its solubilization is controlled by a diffusion process. Results obtained from flow cytometry of different cell lines treated with AgNPs-MTX demonstrated the combined anticancer effect of both reagents, decreasing the percentage of living cells in a colon cancer cell line (HTC-116) down to 40% after 48 hours of exposure. This effect was weaker but still significant for a lung cancer cell line (A-549). Finally, a zebrafish assay with AgNPs-MTX did not show any significant cytotoxic effect, confirming thereby the reduction of systemic drug toxicity achieved by coupling MTX to AgNPs. This observed toxicity reduction in the zebrafish model implies also a probable improvement of the usage of AgNPs-MTX in chemotherapy against human cancers.