Release of peptides from sustained delivery systems (microcapsules and microparticles) in vivo A histological and immunohistochemical study


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Sustained delivery systems (microcapsules, microparticles, or implants) developed for once a month administration of peptides are efficacious and convenient. Long acting formulations of several bioactive peptides are based on microcapsules of a biodegradable polymer poly(dl‐lactide‐co‐glycolide) (PLG), but a better understanding is required of the mechanism of the peptide release from the microcapsules, which is assumed to be primarily by diffusion through pores. In order to clarify this mechanism, microcapsules and microparticles of the agonist [d‐Trp6]‐LHRH and microcapsules of the LHRH antagonist SB‐75 were given i.m. to rats 2 h and 1, 2, 4, 7, 14 and 21 days before histological and immunohistochemical investigation. Signs of biodegradation of the PLG matrix could be seen the first day after the injection, in a form of vacuole development in the interior of the particles and connected with the presence of macrophages within the matrix. The microcapsules showed excellent tissue‐compatibility, and no significant foreign body reaction was detected. Immunohistochemical study on the microcapsules revealed no visible decrease in peptide concentration in the remnants of the matrix even 2 weeks after the injection. Evaluation of serum [d‐TrP6]‐LHRH showed that after an initial burst, both microcapsules and microparticles maintained elevated serum [d‐Trp6]‐LHRH levels for more than 3 weeks. Our results suggest that the previously proposed mechanisms do not reflect the experimental findings, particularly for the insoluble peptides. The peptide release from the PLG microcapsules or microparticles appears to be controlled mostly by the speed of the biodegradation of the polymer matrix and the diffusion of the peptides from the PGL is negligible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-565
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of peptide and protein research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • LHRH agonists and antagonists
  • mechanism of release from microcapsules or microparticles
  • peptide analogs
  • sustained delivery systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Release of peptides from sustained delivery systems (microcapsules and microparticles) in vivo A histological and immunohistochemical study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this