Glucose-targeted niosomes deliver vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) to the brain

Christine Dufès, Frédéric Gaillard, I.F. Uchegbu, Andreas G. Schätzlein, Jean-Christophe Olivier, Jean-Marc Muller

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The aim of this study was to evaluate glucose-bearing niosomes as a brain targeted delivery system for the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). To this end, VIP/125I-VIP-loaded glucose-bearing niosomes were intravenously injected to mice. Brain uptake was determined by measuring the radioactivity of 125I-labeled VIP using gamma-counting, after intravenous administration of VIP in solution or encapsulated in glucose-bearing niosomes or in control niosomes. VIP integrity was assessed by reversed-phase HPLC analysis of brain extracts. Distribution of 125I-VIP derived radioactivity was examined from serial brain slices. HPLC analysis confirmed the presence of intact VIP in brain after administration of VIP-loaded niosomes, but not after administration of VIP solution. Encapsulation within glucose-bearing niosomes mainly allowed a significantly higher VIP brain uptake compared to control niosomes (up to 86%, 5min after treatment). Brain distribution of intact VIP after injection of glucose-bearing niosomes, indicated that radioactivity was preferentially located in the posterior and the anterior parts of the brain, whereas it was homogeneously distributed in the whole brain after the administration of control vesicles. In conclusion, this novel vesicular formulation of VIP delivers intact VIP to particular brain regions in mice. Glucose-bearing vesicles might be therefore a novel tool to deliver drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • niosomes
  • glucose
  • vasoactive intestinal peptide
  • brain delivery
  • blood–brain barrier
  • pharmacology
  • biomedical sciences


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