Novel tocotrienol-entrapping vesicles can eradicate solid tumors after intravenous administration

Fu JY, Zhang W, Blatchford DR, Tetley L, McConnell G, Dufès C.

J Control Release. 2011 Aug 25;154(1):20-6. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

The therapeutic potential of tocotrienol, a vitamin E extract with anti-cancer properties, is hampered by its failure to specifically reach tumors after intravenous administration. In this work, we demonstrated that novel transferrin-bearing, tocopheryl-based multilamellar vesicles entrappingtocotrienol significantly improved tocotrienol uptake by cancer cells overexpressing transferrin receptors. This led to a dramatically improved therapeutic efficacy in vitro, ranging from 17-fold to 72-fold improvement depending on the cell lines, compared to the free drug. In vivo, the intravenous administration of this novel tocotrienol formulation led to complete tumor eradication for 40% of B16-F10 murine melanoma tumors and 20% of A431 human epidermoid carcinoma tumors. Animal survival was improved by more than 20 days compared to controls, for the two tumor models tested. These therapeutic effects, together with the lack of toxicity, potentially make transferrin-bearing vesicles entrapping tocotrienol a highly promising therapeutic system as part as an anti-cancer therapeutic strategy.

Natural vitamin E α-tocotrienol protects against ischemic stroke by induction of multidrug resistance-associated protein 1

Park HA, Kubicki N, Gnyawali S, Chan YC, Roy S, Khanna S, Sen CK.

Stroke. 2011 Aug;42(8):2308-14. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Background & Purpose: α-Tocotrienol (TCT) represents the most potent neuroprotective form of natural vitamin E that is Generally Recognized As Safe certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This work addresses a novel molecular mechanism by which α-TCT may be protective against stroke in vivo. Elevation of intracellular oxidized glutathione (GSSG) triggers neural cell death. Multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1), a key mediator of intracellular oxidized glutathione efflux from neural cells, may therefore possess neuroprotective functions.

Methods: Stroke-dependent brain tissue damage was studied in MRP1-deficient mice and α-TCT-supplemented mice.

Results: Elevated MRP1 expression was observed in glutamate-challenged primary cortical neuronal cells and in stroke-affected brain tissue. MRP1-deficient mice displayed larger stroke-induced lesions, recognizing a protective role of MRP1. In vitro, protection against glutamate-induced neurotoxicity by α-TCT was attenuated under conditions of MRP1 knockdown; this suggests the role of MRP1 in α-TCT-dependent neuroprotection. In vivo studies demonstrated that oral supplementation of α-TCT protected against murine stroke. MRP1 expression was elevated in the stroke-affected cortical tissue of α-TCT-supplemented mice. Efforts to elucidate the underlying mechanism identified MRP1 as a target of microRNA (miR)-199a-5p. In α-TCT-supplemented mice, miR-199a-5p was downregulated in stroke-affected brain tissue.

Conclusion: This work recognizes MRP1 as a protective factor against stroke. Furthermore, findings of this study add a new dimension to the current understanding of the molecular bases of α-TCT neuroprotection in 2 ways: by identifying MRP1 as a α-TCT-sensitive target and by unveiling the general prospect that oral α-TCT may regulate miR expression in stroke-affected brain tissue.

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An in vivo and in silico approach to elucidate the tocotrienol-mediated fortification against infection and inflammation induced alterations in antioxidant defense system

Khan MS, Khan MK, Siddiqui MH, Arif JM.

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Aug;15(8):916-30.

Background: Tocotrienol (Tocomin) are naturally occurring analogues of vitamin E family and has been reported to possess a potent free radical scavenging activity. In the present study we have initially investigated protective role of tocotrienol against infection and inflammation induced alterations in tissues antioxidant defense system, as well as speculated, via in silico docking studies, that tocotrienol can act by directly binding to antioxidant enzymes.

Materials And Methods: Syrian hamsters were injected with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 200 microg), zymosan (20 mg), or turpentine (0.5 ml) to mimic acute infection, acute systemic inflammation, and acute localized inflammation, respectively, which are responsible for the generation of plenty of free radicals that causes oxidative stress. Tocomin (10 mg) was administered daily for 10 days before and 12 h after lipopolysaccharides (LPS) or 24 h after turpentine or zymosan injection. Molecular docking studies were performed using Autodock 4.0.

Results: Our results show a significant decrease in the activities of antiperoxidative enzymes, glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione-s-transferase (GST), as well as reduced glutathione (GSH), in liver and kidney of LPS, turpentine or zymosan stressed hamsters. Feeding of 10 mg Tocomin to stressed hamsters was quite effective in reversing/normalizing the altered levels of enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants in liver and kidney. In order to explore the interaction between tocotrienol and antioxidant enzymes a molecular docking study was performed. The results showed good interaction in term of binding energy and inhibition constant in the following order GR > CAT > SOD > GST > GPx.

Conclusion: Our in vivo and in silico results for the first time indicate that tocotrienol significantly alleviate the condition of oxidative stress not only by its potent free radical scavenging properties but also may be by interacting directly and strongly with antioxidant enzymes as proved by molecular docking simulations.