Polymersomes conjugated with des-octanoyl ghrelin for the delivery of therapeutic and imaging agents into brain tissues
The effective protection of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) from tight junctions and efflux transport systems ultimately results in the limited entry of 95% of drug/gene candidates, which are potentially beneficial for central nervous system (CNS) diseases. In order to enhance the brain-specific delivery, in this study we developed a targeting carrier system, which consists of poly(carboxyl ethylene glycol-g-glutamate)-co-poly(distearin-g-glutamate) (CPEGGM-PDSGM) polymersomes with the conjugation of des-octanoyl ghrelin. Des-octanoyl ghrelin across the BBB was reported to be unidirectional (blood-to-brain direction). However, there is no report about the conjugation of des-octanoyl ghrelin to a drug carrier system to confer the BBB targeting property through des-octanoyl ghrelin binding sites mediated endocytosis. To qualitatively and quantitatively investigate this carrier's properties, coumarin 6, Cy5.5 and met-enkephalin were individually encapsulated in these polymersomes. The experimental results showed that the cellular uptake was significantly higher for des-octanoyl ghrelin-conjugated polymersomes (GPs) than unconjugated polymersomes when co-incubated with the BBB cells. In addition, an enhanced accumulation in brain together with a reduced accumulation in liver and spleen was observed in animal study, indicating better brain selectivity for the GPs. In a hot-plate test, a significant inhibition of nociceptive response could be achieved for an intravenous injection of GPs encapsulated with met-enkephalin. The overall results demonstrated that GPs own a great potential for targeting delivery of drug across the BBB to treat CNS diseases.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 35, Issue 6, February 2014, Pages 2051–2065