Curcumin ameliorates the targeted delivery of methotrexate intercalated montmorillonite clay to cancer cells.
Eur J Pharm Sci. 2019 Jul 1 ;135:91-102. Epub 2019 May 9. PMID: 31078644
Montmorillonite Clay (MMT) is aimed to develop as an orally administrable drug delivery vehicle with enhanced efficacy. Aiming to enhance the therapeutic index of methotrexate, curcumin is concomitantly used with methotrexate in the present study. Being folate antagonist in nature, methotrexate is internalized into cells by folate receptor (FR); which is over-expressed in certain human cancer cells such as cervical carcinoma cells (HeLa). Firstly, montmorillonite Clay (MMT) is organically modified (OMMT) with cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) and used to intercalate curcumin and methotrexate separately, designated as OMMT-Cur and OMMT-MTX, respectively. XRD pattern demonstrated successful intercalation of therapeutics and an increase in clay interlayer distance facilitated by CTAB. The dissolution kinetics of methotrexate follows Higuchi model for both Simulated Gastric Fluid (SGF) and Simulated Intestinal Fluid (SIF), while the release kinetics for curcumin fitted into Higuchi model for SGF and Hixson-Crowell model for SIF, respectively. OMMT-MTX are able to discriminate FR-positive HeLa cells from FR-negative breast cancer cells (MCF7); irrespective of alike cellular phenotypes. Further, the pre-treatment of HeLa cells with curcumin improves its sensitivity towards methotrexate causing a greater killing of the Hela cells. Together, the results propose the concomitant use of curcumin and methotrexate for successfully targeting highly invasive FR-positive carcinomas by means of folate receptor using MMTs.