Document Type


Publication Date



OBJECTIVE: Niacin, activating G-protein coupled receptor (GPR) 109A, stimulates release of vasodilatory prostaglandins (PGs) such as PGE2 which can elicit niacin-associated flushing side effects. Poly-lactic-coglycolic acid (PLGA) and poly-lactic acid (PLA) are used in nanoparticle (NP) drug delivery to reduce adverse effects and modulate drug release. Our study evaluated the in vitro effects of niacin-loaded PLGA or PLA-NPs on PGE2 expression in whole human blood as a model for niacin-induced flushing. MATERIALS AND METHODS: NPs were formulated using a solvent evaporation process and characterized by size, polydispersity, zeta potential, drug entrapment, morphology, and drug release. NP in vitro effects on PGE2 release were measured via ELISA analysis. RESULTS: PLGA-NPs demonstrated the lowest NP size (66.7 ± 0.21 nm) with the highest zeta potential and percent drug entrapment (42.00 ± 1.62 mV and 69.09 ± 0.29%, respectively) when compared to PLA-NPs (130.4 ± 0.66 nm, 27.96 ± 0.18 mV, 69.63 ± 0.03 %, respectively). In vitro release studies showed that PLGA-NPs underwent significant reductions in cumulative drug release when compared to PLA-NPs (p < 0.05). Furthermore, when compared to plain niacin, PLGA-NPs significantly reduced in vitro PGE2 release (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These results support the use of PLGA-NPs as a novel method of delivery for reducing niacin-associated flushing.