Volume 29 (2006) Issue 11 Pages 2279-2283
We previously observed that rhinacanthins-C, -N and -Q, three main naphthoquinone esters isolated from the roots of Thai medicinal plant; Rhinacanthus nasutus KURZ. (Acanthaceae) induced apoptosis of human cervical carcinoma HeLaS3 cells. Since these rhinacanthins showed limited solubility in aqueous medium, we attempted to entrap them into liposomal membrane: Liposomalization enabled injection of the drugs and the drugs were expected to transfer to lipoproteins in the bloodstream. Liposomal formulations of rhinacanthins-C, -N and -Q showed strong antiproliferative activity against HeLaS3 cells with the IC50 values of 32, 17, 70 μM; 19, 17, 52 μM and 2.7, 2.0 and 5.0 μM for the exposure time of 24, 48, and 72 h, respectively. These liposomes suppressed the tumor growth in Meth-A sarcoma-bearing BALB/c mice at the dose of 5.0 mg/kg/d for 10 d. Among rhinacanthins, liposomal rhinacanthin-N significantly suppressed solid tumor growth. Based on these results, our findings demonstrated that rhinacanthin-N suppressed tumor growth in vivo, and suggested that liposomes are useful for preparing injectable formulation of hydrophobic drugs.