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STUDY: Targeted delivery of drugs to the gastrointestinal tract.
JOURNAL: Crit Rev Ther Drug Carrier Syst 2001;18(4):341-86
AUTHORS: Lavelle EC.
ABSTRACT: The oral route is attractive for drug administration because it is associated with patient acceptability, less stringent production conditions, and lower costs. However, gastrointestinal destruction of labile molecules and low levels of absorption generally render oral delivery of peptides and proteins ineffective. Several strategies have the potential to enhance the efficacy of orally administered drugs. Bioadhesion is an approach for increasing interaction between drugs and the mucosae. Bioadhesive systems can be nonspecific, achieving adhesion via mechanical processes or specific systems that recognize receptors on epithelial cells. Lectins are one group of specific bioadhesives with many suitable properties for targeting of cells in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). This review assesses the potential of lectins in the delivery of drugs and vaccines to the GIT.
COMMENTARY: Targeted drug delivery by binding the drug to any number of different lectins is a 'hot' area in pharmacology these days, since many lectins are 'endocytosed' (actively transported into the intestinal cells), which makes them able to carry the drugs they are bound to along in with them.
Good thing this researcher has never read any of the criticisms of my work by the American Dietetic Association, Dr. Andrew Weil and the Weston Price folks, since all three have at one time or another asserted that food lectins don't penetrate the digestive tract!