Ligusticum chuanxiong extract-polylactic acid sustained-release microspheres (LCE-PLA) are fabricated in this study for enhancing both duration and hepatoprotective efficacy of the main bioactive ingredients. LCE-PLA in vitro release, cytotoxicity and in vivo hepatoprotective effect were discussed to evaluate its efficiency and functionality. Results demonstrated that the optimal drug-loading rate and encapsulation efficiency of tetramethylpyrazine (TMP, the main active ingredient) were 8.19%, 83.72%, respectively. The LCE-PLA in vitro release of TMP showed prolong 5-fold and in vitro cytotoxicity declined 25.00% compared with naked LCE. After 6 weeks of in vivo intervention in high fat diet mice, both liver aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels were higher in LCE-PLA group than LCE group. The above results indicated that TMP had a higher bioavailability of hepatoprotection when encapsulation of LCE-PLA was applied. The current study has provided a promising novel way to enhance the efficacy of short half-life ingredients.
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