Impact of aldehyde content on amphotericin B - Dextran imine conjugate toxicity

Marina Sokolsky-Papkov, Abraham J. Domb, Jacob Golenser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The biocompatibility of oxidized dextran (40 kDa) was investigated in vitro. The contribution of aldehyde groups to the toxicity of polymer-drug conjugates, such as dextran-amphotericin B (AmB) was evaluated. Oxidized dextran was proved to be toxic against the RAW 264.7 cell line with an IC50 of 3 μmol/mL aldehydes. Modification of aldehyde groups and their reaction with ethanolamine reduced the toxicity at least 15-fold. Accordingly, the antifungal and antileishmanial dextran-AmB imine conjugate, which contains unreacted aldehyde groups, was modified with ethanolamine and compared to dextran-AmB amine and imine conjugates. Modification of the imine conjugate with ethanolamine reduced its toxicity toward the RAW cell line by 100%. The effect on Leishmania major parasites was 5 times higher than that of the dextran-AmB amine conjugate. The dextran-AmB-ethanolamine conjugate was at least 15 times less hemolytic than free AmB. Stability and drug release profiles in buffer solution were investigated. The imine conjugates released free AmB while the amine conjugate did not. It is concluded that aldehyde groups may contribute to cell toxicity. This toxicity is reduced by converting the aldehyde groups into imine conjugates with ethanolamine. The results have direct implications toward the safety of AmB-polysaccharide conjugates used against fungal and leishmanial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529-1535
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


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