PHARMACEUTICS, vol.13, no.1, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Pharmacological treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders is difficult, because the blood-brain barrier (BBB) restricts the penetration of many drugs into the brain. To solve this unmet therapeutic need, nanosized drug carriers are the focus of research efforts to develop drug delivery systems for the CNS. For the successful delivery of nanoparticles (NPs) to the brain, targeting ligands on their surface is necessary. Our research aim was to design a nanoscale drug delivery system for a more efficient transfer of donepezil, an anticholinergic drug in the therapy of Alzheimer's disease across the BBB. Rhodamine B-labeled solid lipid nanoparticles with donepezil cargo were prepared and targeted with apolipoprotein E (ApoE), a ligand of BBB receptors. Nanoparticles were characterized by measurement of size, polydispersity index, zeta potential, thermal analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, in vitro release, and stability. Cytotoxicity of nanoparticles were investigated by metabolic assay and impedance-based cell analysis. ApoE-targeting increased the uptake of lipid nanoparticles in cultured brain endothelial cells and neurons. Furthermore, the permeability of ApoE-targeted nanoparticles across a co-culture model of the BBB was also elevated. Our data indicate that ApoE, which binds BBB receptors, can potentially be exploited for successful CNS targeting of solid lipid nanoparticles.