PEGylated Liposomal Methyl Prednisolone Succinate does not Induce Infusion Reactions in Patients: A Correlation Between in Vitro Immunological and in Vivo Clinical Studies

Molecules. 2020 Jan 28;25(3):558. doi: 10.3390/molecules25030558.


PEGylated nanomedicines are known to induce infusion reactions (IRs) that in some cases can be life-threatening. Herein, we report a case study in which a patient with rare mediastinal and intracardiac IgG4-related sclerosing disease received 8 treatments of intravenously administered PEGylated liposomal methylprednisolone-succinate (NSSL-MPS). Due to the ethical requirements to reduce IRs, the patient received a cocktail of premedication including low dose of steroids, acetaminophen and H2 blockers before each infusion. The treatment was well-tolerated in that IRs, complement activation, anti-PEG antibodies and accelerated blood clearance of the PEGylated drug were not detected. Prior to the clinical study, an in vitro panel of assays utilizing blood of healthy donors was used to determine the potential of a PEGylated drug to activate complement system, elicit pro-inflammatory cytokines, damage erythrocytes and affect various components of the blood coagulation system. The overall findings of the in vitro panel were negative and correlated with the results observed in the clinical phase.

Keywords: IgG4 related disease; PEGylated nanodrugs; anti-PEG antibodies; complement activation; hypersensitive reactions; liposomal steroids.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Complement Activation / drug effects
  • Complement Activation / immunology
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / administration & dosage*
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Liposomes* / chemistry
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone Hemisuccinate / administration & dosage*
  • Methylprednisolone Hemisuccinate / pharmacokinetics
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Liposomes
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Methylprednisolone Hemisuccinate
  • Complement System Proteins