Preparation and characterization of artemether-loaded niosomes in Leishmania major-induced cutaneous leishmaniasis

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Sci Rep. 2024 May 2;14(1):10073. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-60883-0.

ABSTRACT

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is the most prevalent form of leishmaniasis worldwide. Although various anti-leishmanial regimens have been considered, due to the lack of efficacy or occurrence of adverse reactions, design and development of novel topical delivery systems would be essential. This study aimed to prepare artemether (ART)-loaded niosomes and evaluate their anti-leishmanial effects against Leishmania major. ART-loaded niosomes were prepared through the thin-film hydration technique and characterized in terms of particle size, zeta potential, morphology, differential scanning calorimetry, drug loading, and drug release. Furthermore, anti-leishmanial effect of the preparation was assessed in vitro and in vivo. The prepared ART-loaded niosomes were spherical with an average diameter of about 100 and 300 nm with high encapsulation efficiencies of > 99%. The results of in vitro cytotoxicity revealed that ART-loaded niosomes had significantly higher anti-leishmanial activity, lower general toxicity, and higher selectivity index (SI). Half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of ART, ART-loaded niosomes, and liposomal amphotericin B were 39.09, 15.12, and 20 µg/mL, respectively. Also, according to the in vivo study results, ART-loaded niosomes with an average size of 300 nm showed the highest anti-leishmanial effects in animal studies. ART-loaded niosomes would be promising topical drug delivery system for the management of cutaneous leishmaniasis.

PMID:38698123 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-024-60883-0