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Open Access An aquaporin 4 antisense oligonucleotide loaded, brain targeted nanoparticulate system design

Aquaporins (AQPs), members of the water-channel protein family, are highly expressed in brain tissue especially in astrocytic end-feet. They are important players for water hemostasis during development of cytotoxic as well as vasogenic edema. Increased expression of AQPs is important in pathophysiology of neurological diseases such as neuroinflammation and ischemia. Unfortunately, there are a few pharmacological inhibitors of AQP4 with several side effects limiting their translation as a drug for use in clinical conditions. Another therapeutic approach is using antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) to block AQP4 activity. These are short, synthetic, modified nucleic acids that bind RNA to modulate its function. However, they cannot pass the blood brain barrier (BBB). To overcome this obstacle we designed a nanoparticulate system made up of chitosan nanoparticles surface modified with PEG and conjugated with monoclonal anti transferrin receptor-1 antibody via streptavidin-biotin binding. The nanocarrier system could be targeted to the transferrin receptor-1 at the brain endothelial capillaries through monoclonal antibodies. It is hypothesized that the nanoparticles could pass the BBB via receptor mediated transcytosis and reach brain parenchyma. Particle size, zeta potential, loading capacity and release profiles of nanoparticles were investigated. It was observed that all types of chitosau (CS) nanoparticles had positive zeta potential values and nanoparticle particle size distribution varied between 100 and 800 nm. The association efficiency of ASOs into the nanoparticles was between 80–97% and the release profiles of the nanoparticles exhibited an initial burst effect followed by a controlled release. The results showed that the designed chitosan based nanocarriers could be a promising carrier system to transport nucleic acid based drugs to brain parenchyma.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2014

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