Cellular distribution of injected PLGA-nanoparticles in the liver

Jin Kyu Park, Teruo Utsumi, Young Eun Seo, Yang Deng, Ayano Satoh, William Mark Saltzman, Yasuko Iwakiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


The cellular fate of nanoparticles in the liver is not fully understood. Because the effectiveness and safety of nanoparticles in liver therapy depends on targeting nanoparticles to the right cell populations, this study aimed to determine a relative distribution of PLGA-nanoparticles (sizes 271±1.4 nm) among liver cells in vivo. We found that Kupffer cells were the major cells that took up nanoparticles, followed by liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and hepatic stellate cells. Nanoparticles were found in only 7% of hepatocytes. Depletion of Kupffer cells by clodronate liposomes increased nanoparticle retention in liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and hepatic stellate cells, but not in hepatocytes. It is importantly suggested that studies of drug-loaded nanoparticle delivery to the liver have to demonstrate not only uptake of nanoparticles by the target cell type but also non-uptake by other cell types to assess their effect as well as ensure their safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1374
Number of pages10
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Hepatic stellate cells
  • Hepatocytes
  • Kupffer cells
  • Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells
  • Nanomedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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