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Sustained Release Strategy Designed for Lixisenatide Delivery to Synchronously Treat Diabetes and Associated Complications

Zhuang, Yaping, Yang, Xiaowei, Li, Yamin, Chen, Yipei, Peng, Xiaochun, Yu, Lin, Ding, Jiandong
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2019 v.11 no.33 pp. 29604-29618
composite polymers, diabetic complications, electrostatic interactions, gelation, glycosylation, hemoglobin, hydrogels, hyperlipidemia, insulin, mice, motor neurons, nerve fibers, noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, patients, peptides, public health, quality of life, subcutaneous injection
Diabetes and its complications have become a global challenge of public health. Herein, we aimed to develop a long-acting delivery system of lixisenatide (Lixi), a glucose-dependent antidiabetic peptide, based on an injectable hydrogel for the synchronous treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and associated complications. Two triblock copolymers, poly(ε-caprolactone-co-glycolic acid)–poly(ethylene glycol)–poly(ε-caprolactone-co-glycolic acid) and poly(d,l-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid)–poly(ethylene glycol)–poly(d,l-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) possessing temperature-induced sol–gel transitions, were synthesized by us. Compared to the two single-component hydrogels, their 1/1 mixture hydrogel not only maintained the temperature-induced gelation but also exhibited a steadier degradation profile in vivo. Both in vitro and in vivo release studies demonstrated that the mixture hydrogel provided the sustained release of Lixi for up to 9 days, which was attributed to balanced electrostatic interactions between the positive charges in the peptide and the negative charges in the polymer carrier. The hypoglycemic efficacy of Lixi delivered from the mixture hydrogel after a single subcutaneous injection into diabetic db/db mice was comparable to that of twice-daily administrations of Lixi solution for up to 9 days. Furthermore, three successive administrations of the abovementioned gel system within a month significantly increased the plasma insulin level, lowered glycosylated hemoglobin, and improved the pancreatic function of the animals. These results were superior or equivalent to those of twice-daily injections of Lixi solution for 30 days, but the number of injections was markedly reduced from 60 to 3. Finally, an improvement in hyperlipidemia, augmentation of nerve fiber density, and enhancement of motor nerve conduction velocity in the gel formulation-treated db/db mice indicated that the sustained delivery of Lixi arrested and even ameliorated diabetic complications. These findings suggested that the Lixi-loaded mixture hydrogel has great potential for the treatment of T2DM with significant improvements in the health and quality of life of patients.