Synthesis, cellular transport, and activity of polyamidoamine dendrimer-methylprednisolone conjugates

Jayant Khandare, Parag Kolhe, Omathanu Pillai, Sujatha Kannan, Mary Lieh-Lai, Rangaramanujam M. Kannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Dendrimers have emerged as promising multifunctional nanomaterials for drug delivery due to their well-defined size and tailorability. We compare two schemes to obtain methylprednisolone (MP)-polyamidoamine dendrimer (PAMAM-G4-OH) conjugate. Glutaric acid (GA) was used as a spacer to facilitate the conjugation. In scheme A, PAMAM-G4-OH was first coupled to GA and then further conjugated with MP to obtain PAMAM-G4-GA-MP conjugates. This scheme yields a lower conjugation ratio of MP, presumably because of lower reactivity and steric hindrance for the steroid at the crowded dendrimer periphery. In scheme B, this steric hindrance was overcome by first preparing the MP-GA conjugate, which was then coupled to the PAMAM-G4-OH dendrimer. The 1H NMR spectrum of the conjugate from scheme B indicates a conjugation of 12 molecules of MP with the dendrimer, corresponding to a payload of 32 wt %. In addition, conjugates were further fluorescent-labeled with fluoroisothiocynate (FITC) to evaluate the dynamics of cellular entry. Flow cytometry and UV/visible spectroscopic analysis showed that the conjugate is rapidly taken up inside the cell. Fluorescence and confocal microscopy images on A549 human lung epithelial carcinoma cells treated with conjugates show that the conjugate is mostly localized in cytosol. MP-GA-dendrimer conjugate showed comparable pharmacological activity to free MP, as measured by inhibition of prostaglandin secretion. These conjugates can potentially be further conjugated with a targeting moiety to deliver the drugs to specific cells in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-337
Number of pages8
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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