Liposome mediated delivery of biologicals to the brain as a novel therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer’s disease
Lara Kilian (PhD fellow sponsored by the PRC) - University Heidelberg, Germany
Tanja Roeder (PhD fellow sponsored by the PRC) - University Heidelberg, Germany
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a very selective biological barrier protecting the brain. It is formed by endothelial cells of microvessels being characterized by extremely tight junctions and high expression of export proteins. It is impermeable for macromolecules including biologicals. However, biologicals are of highest interest for the therapy of Alzheimer´s disease.1) A promising option to overcome the BBB with macromolecules is the use of colloidal drug carrier systems, for example liposomes2) or solid lipid nanoparticles, which are surface-modified to recognize specific binding sites at the BBB and with subsequent internalization and transcytosis across the barrier. Surface modifications are achieved by coupling such nanocarriers to antibodies against receptors at the BBB, cell penetrating peptides (CPPs), or (fragments of) apolipoproteins. Only very few data are available with macromolecules despite a very urgent clinical need for Alzheimer’s disease, as all clinical trials with conventional drugs have failed so far.
Therefore, we aim to use liposome-mediated drug delivery for the transfer of macromolecules across the BBB. We expect to conduct proof-of-principle experiments to deliver biologicals across the BBB. Importantly, our preliminary data support the feasibility of this approach to deliver biologicals via intravenous injection of liposomal formulations to the brain, which represents an entirely novel treatment approach for Alzheimer’s disease.
Benefit for the community
Due to the modular nature of this project optimized delivery systems may in the future be applied to other biologicals or nucleic acids.