Chronic administration of an HDAC inhibitor treats both neurological and systemic Niemann-Pick type C disease in a mouse model

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Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are approved for treating rare cancers and are of interest as potential therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. We evaluated a triple combination formulation (TCF) comprising the pan-HDACi vorinostat, the caging agent 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPBCD), and polyethylene glycol (PEG) for treating a mouse model (the Npc1nmf164 mouse) of Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, a difficult-to-treat cerebellar disorder. Vorinostat alone showed activity in cultured primary cells derived from Npc1nmf164 mice but did not improve animal survival. However, low-dose, once-weekly intraperitoneal injections of the TCF containing vorinostat increased histone acetylation in the mouse brain, preserved neurites and Purkinje cells, delayed symptoms of neurodegeneration, and extended mouse life span from 4 to almost 9 months. We demonstrate that the TCF boosted the ability of HDACi to cross the blood-brain barrier and was not toxic even when used long term. Further, the TCF enabled dose reduction, which has been a major challenge in HDACi therapy. TCF simultaneously treats neurodegenerative and systemic symptoms of Niemann-Pick type C disease in a mouse model.

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