Targeting the thyroid gland with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)-nanoliposomes

Donatella Paolino, Donato Cosco, Marco Gaspari, Marilena Celano, Joy Wolfram, Pasquale Voce, Efisio Puxeddu, Sebastiano Filetti, Christian Celia, Mauro Ferrari, Diego Russo, Massimo Fresta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Various tissue-specific antibodies have been attached to nanoparticles to obtain targeted delivery. In particular, nanodelivery systems with selectivity for breast, prostate and cancer tissue have been developed. Here, we have developed a nanodelivery system that targets the thyroid gland. Nanoliposomes have been conjugated to the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which binds to the TSH receptor (TSHr) on the surface of thyrocytes. The results indicate that the intracellular uptake of TSH-nanoliposomes is increased in cells expressing the TSHr. The accumulation of targeted nanoliposomes in the thyroid gland following intravenous injection was 3.5-fold higher in comparison to untargeted nanoliposomes. Furthermore, TSH-nanoliposomes encapsulated with gemcitabine showed improved anticancer efficacy invitro and in a tumor model of follicular thyroid carcinoma. This drug delivery system could be used for the treatment of a broad spectrum of thyroid diseases to reduce side effects and improve therapeutic efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7101-7109
Number of pages9
Issue number25
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Nanoliposomes
  • Nanoparticles
  • Targeting
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroid gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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