Targeting the thyroid gland with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)-nanoliposomes

Biomaterials. 2014 Aug;35(25):7101-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.088. Epub 2014 May 14.


Various tissue-specific antibodies have been attached to nanoparticles to obtain targeted delivery. In particular, nanodelivery systems with selectivity for breast, prostate and cancer tissue have been developed. Here, we have developed a nanodelivery system that targets the thyroid gland. Nanoliposomes have been conjugated to the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which binds to the TSH receptor (TSHr) on the surface of thyrocytes. The results indicate that the intracellular uptake of TSH-nanoliposomes is increased in cells expressing the TSHr. The accumulation of targeted nanoliposomes in the thyroid gland following intravenous injection was 3.5-fold higher in comparison to untargeted nanoliposomes. Furthermore, TSH-nanoliposomes encapsulated with gemcitabine showed improved anticancer efficacy in vitro and in a tumor model of follicular thyroid carcinoma. This drug delivery system could be used for the treatment of a broad spectrum of thyroid diseases to reduce side effects and improve therapeutic efficacy.

Keywords: Nanoliposomes; Nanoparticles; Targeting; Thyroid cancer; Thyroid gland.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • CHO Cells
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cricetulus
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxycytidine / chemistry
  • Deoxycytidine / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Gemcitabine
  • Liposomes / chemistry
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin / chemistry
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Thyroid Gland / drug effects*
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism
  • Thyrotropin / chemistry
  • Thyrotropin / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Liposomes
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Thyrotropin
  • Gemcitabine