The topical treatment for oral mucosal diseases is often based on products optimized for dermatologic applications; consequently, a lower therapeutic effect may be present. 18-β-Glycyrrhetic Acid (GA) is extracted from Glycirrhiza glabra. The first aim of this study was to test the cytotoxicity of GA on PE/CA-PJ15 cells. The second aim was to propose and test two different delivery systems, i.e. nanoparticles and fibers, to guarantee a controlled release of GA in vitro. We used chitosan and poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid based nanoparticles and polylactic acid fibers. We tested both delivery systems in vitro on PE/CA-PJ15 cells and on normal human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs). The morphology of GA-loaded nanoparticles (GA-NPs) and fibers (GA-FBs) was investigated by electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering; GA release kinetics was studied spectrophotometrically. MTT test was used to assess GA cytotoxicity on both cancer and normal cells. Cells were exposed to different concentrations of GA (20 - 500 µmol/L) administered as free GA (GA-f), and to GA-NPs or GA-FBs. ROS production was evaluated using dichlorodihydrofluorescein as a fluorescent probe. Regarding the cytotoxic effect of GA on PE/CA-PJ15 cells, the lowest TC50 value was 200 µmol/L when GA was added as GA-NPs. No cytotoxic effects were observed when GA was administered to HGFs. N-acetyl Cysteine reduced mortality induced by GA-f in PE/CA-PJ15 cells. The specific effect of GA on PE/CA-PJ15 cells is mainly due to the different sensitivity of cancer cells to ROS over-production; GA-NPs and GA-FBs formulations increase, in vitro, this toxic effect on oral cancer cells.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-29
Numero di pagine29
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • 18-β-Glycyrrhetic Acid
  • Oral cavity pathologies.
  • PLA nanofibers
  • PLGA nanoparticles
  • ROS production
  • molecular targeted therapies
  • targeted drug


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