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Folate Receptor α-Modified Nanoparticles for Targeting of the Central Nervous System


Kuplennik, Nataliya; Lang, Kristina; Steinfeld, Robert; Sosnik, Alejandro (2019). Folate Receptor α-Modified Nanoparticles for Targeting of the Central Nervous System. ACS applied materials & interfaces, 11(43):39633-39647.

Abstract

Effective and timely delivery of therapeutic agents from the systemic circulation to the central nervous system (CNS) is often precluded by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB). A new pathway of folate uptake mediated by folate receptor alpha (FRα, molecular weight of 28.29 kg mol$^{-1}$) occurring in various epithelial cells of the CNS (e.g., choroid plexus) was described. Aiming to investigate this mechanism for the delivery of nanomedicines to the CNS, in this work, we initially produced nanoparticles (NPs) made of a highly hydrophobic poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-b-PCL) block copolymer functionalized with an amine moiety in the edge of the PEG block by a simple nanoprecipitation method. Hydrophilic PEG blocks migrated to the NP surface during formation, exposing primary amine groups that were used to conjugate the targeting ligand, FRα. The size of the NPs was in the 58-98 nm range and standard deviation (S.D., a measure of the size population peak width) of 26-41 nm, as measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS). The FRα conjugation yield ranged between 50% and 75% (determined indirectly by the bicinchoninic acid protein assay). Pristine and FRα-modified NPs showed good compatibility with primary human choroid plexus epithelial cells (HCPEpiCs). The uptake of FRα-conjugated NPs by HCPEpiCs was qualitatively evaluated in vitro using inverted optical fluorescence and confocal microscopy. FRα-modified NPs were internalized by HCPEpiCs to a greater extent than the unmodified counterparts. Then, their permeability was characterized in standard and inverted HCPEpiC monolayers. In both cases, NPs surface modified with the FRα and complexed to folic acid (FA) showed significantly higher apparent permeability coefficient (P$_{app}$) values than the pristine ones. Finally, the biodistribution of unmodified and FRα-FA-modified NPs following intravenous (i.v.) administration was compared in ICR mice. Results indicated that conjugation of the FRα-FA complex to the NP surface promotes higher accumulation in the brain, highlighting the promise of FRα-FA-modified NPs to serve as a platform for the targeting of active molecules to the CNS from the systemic circulation.

Abstract

Effective and timely delivery of therapeutic agents from the systemic circulation to the central nervous system (CNS) is often precluded by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB). A new pathway of folate uptake mediated by folate receptor alpha (FRα, molecular weight of 28.29 kg mol$^{-1}$) occurring in various epithelial cells of the CNS (e.g., choroid plexus) was described. Aiming to investigate this mechanism for the delivery of nanomedicines to the CNS, in this work, we initially produced nanoparticles (NPs) made of a highly hydrophobic poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-b-PCL) block copolymer functionalized with an amine moiety in the edge of the PEG block by a simple nanoprecipitation method. Hydrophilic PEG blocks migrated to the NP surface during formation, exposing primary amine groups that were used to conjugate the targeting ligand, FRα. The size of the NPs was in the 58-98 nm range and standard deviation (S.D., a measure of the size population peak width) of 26-41 nm, as measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS). The FRα conjugation yield ranged between 50% and 75% (determined indirectly by the bicinchoninic acid protein assay). Pristine and FRα-modified NPs showed good compatibility with primary human choroid plexus epithelial cells (HCPEpiCs). The uptake of FRα-conjugated NPs by HCPEpiCs was qualitatively evaluated in vitro using inverted optical fluorescence and confocal microscopy. FRα-modified NPs were internalized by HCPEpiCs to a greater extent than the unmodified counterparts. Then, their permeability was characterized in standard and inverted HCPEpiC monolayers. In both cases, NPs surface modified with the FRα and complexed to folic acid (FA) showed significantly higher apparent permeability coefficient (P$_{app}$) values than the pristine ones. Finally, the biodistribution of unmodified and FRα-FA-modified NPs following intravenous (i.v.) administration was compared in ICR mice. Results indicated that conjugation of the FRα-FA complex to the NP surface promotes higher accumulation in the brain, highlighting the promise of FRα-FA-modified NPs to serve as a platform for the targeting of active molecules to the CNS from the systemic circulation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:30 October 2019
Deposited On:12 Feb 2020 09:23
Last Modified:13 Feb 2020 08:38
Publisher:American Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN:1944-8244
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b14659
PubMed ID:31532618

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