Hybrid nanoparticles as a new technological approach to enhance the delivery of cholesterol into the brain

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Abstract

Restoration of the Chol homeostasis in the Central Nervous System (CNS) could be beneficial for the treatment of Huntington's Disease (HD), a progressive, fatal, adult-onset, neurodegenerative disorder. Unfortunately, Chol is unable to cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB), thus a novel strategy for a targeted delivery of Chol into the brain is highly desired.

This article aims to investigate the production of hybrid nanoparticles composed by Chol and PLGA (MIX-NPs) modified with g7 ligand for BBB crossing.

We described the impact of ratio between components (Chol and PLGA) and formulation process (nanoprecipitation or single emulsion process) on physico-chemical and structural characteristics, we tested MIX-NPs in vitro using primary hippocampal cell cultures evaluating possible toxicity, uptake, and the ability to influence excitatory synaptic receptors. Our results elucidated that both formulation processes produce MIX-NPs with a Chol content higher that 40%, meaning that Chol is a structural particle component and active compound at the same time. The formulation strategy impacted the architecture and reorganization of components leading to some differences in Chol availability between the two types of g7 MIX-NPs. Our results identified that both kinds of MIX-NPs are efficiently taken up by neurons, able to escape lysosomes and release Chol into the cells resulting in an efficient modification in expression of synaptic receptors that could be beneficial in HD.

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