Polyrotaxane-based systemic delivery of β-cyclodextrins for potentiating therapeutic efficacy in a mouse model of Niemann-Pick type C disease

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Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is a fatal metabolic disorder characterized by the lysosomal accumulation of cholesterol. Although 2-hydroxypropyl β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) promotes the excretion of cholesterol and prolongs the life span in animal models of NPC disease, it requires extremely high dose. We developed acid-labile β-CD-based polyrotaxanes (PRXs) comprising multiple β-CDs threaded along a polymer chain capped with acid-cleavable stopper molecules for potentiating therapeutic efficacy of β-CD in NPC disease. The acid-labile PRXs dissociate under the acidic lysosomes and release threaded β-CDs in lysosomes, which promotes cholesterol excretion in NPC disease model cells at lower concentration than HP-β-CD. In this study, the therapeutic effect of the PRXs in a mouse model of NPC disease was investigated. Weekly administration of the PRXs significantly prolonged the life span and suppressed neurodegeneration in mice, even at a dose of 500 mg/kg, a markedly lower dose than previously reported for HP-β-CD. Detailed analysis of tissue cholesterol revealed that PRX treatment markedly suppressed the tissue accumulation of cholesterol in the NPC mouse model, but did not alter cholesterol content in wild-type mice. Acid-labile PRX is therefore a promising candidate for potentiating the efficacy of β-CD in the treatment of NPC disease.Graphical abstract

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