Nanovesicle delivery to the liver via retinol binding protein and platelet-derived growth factor receptors: how targeting ligands affect biodistribution

Nanomedicine (Lond). 2017 Feb;12(4):317-331. doi: 10.2217/nnm-2016-0319. Epub 2017 Jan 12.


Aim: Nanovesicles (NVs) conjugating ligands can deliver to the specific nidus. We designed a nanosystem targeting the injectable niosomes to liver for examining biodistribution.

Methodology: Vitamin A and antiplatelet-derived growth factor receptor antibody were employed as the ligands to be taken by hepatic stellate cells. The biodistribution in rats was visualized by bioimaging.

Results: A significant liver accumulation was detected for antibody-embedded NVs at 2 h after dosing. The vitamin A embedded NVs exhibited a delayed targeting to the liver (5 h). The spleen, intestine and kidneys were the nontargeted organs where the vitamin A loaded niosomes largely accumulated. The antibody-loaded NVs could deliver to the spleen, kidneys and lungs. The antibody-loaded nanocarriers increased silibinin uptake to lungs by fourfold than the plain NVs.

Conclusion: The results have practical application for better designing of active targeting nanocarriers.

Keywords: antibody; biodistribution; liver; nanovesicle; niosome; vitamin A.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics
  • Drug Delivery Systems* / methods
  • Hepatic Stellate Cells / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Nanocapsules / chemistry*
  • Nanocapsules / ultrastructure
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Silybin
  • Silymarin / administration & dosage*
  • Silymarin / pharmacokinetics
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antioxidants
  • Nanocapsules
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins
  • Silymarin
  • Silybin
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor