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M cell targeting by lectins: A strategy for mucosal vaccination and drug delivery

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ann Clark, Emeritus Professor Barry Hirst


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Bioadhesins are a recognised method of enhancing the absorption of drugs and vaccines at mucosal surfaces. Additionally, bioadhesins allow for cell specific targeting. Lectin-mediated targeting and delivery exploits unique surface carbohydrates on mucosal epithelial cells. The antigen-sampling M cells offer a portal for absorption of colloidal and particulate delivery vehicles, including bacteria, viruses and inert microparticles. We review work supporting the use of lectins to aid targeting to intestinal M cells. Consideration is also given to lectin-mediated targeting in non-intestinal sites and to the potential application of other bioadhesins to enhance M cell transport. While substantial hurdles must be overcome before mucosal bioadhesins can guarantee consistent, safe, effective mucosal delivery, this strategy offers novel opportunities for drug and vaccine formulation. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jepson MA, Clark MA, Hirst BH

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews

Year: 2004

Volume: 56

Issue: 4

Pages: 511-525

ISSN (print): 0169-409X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-8294


DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2003.10.018

PubMed id: 14969756