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Noninvasive Brain Delivery and Efficacy of BDNF to Stimulate Neuroregeneration and Suppression of Disease Relapse in EAE Mice

Kopec, BM;Kiptoo, P;Zhao, L;Rosa-Molinar, E;Siahaan, TJ;

The number of FDA-approved protein drugs (biologics), such as antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, hormones, and enzymes, continues to grow at a rapid rate; most of these drugs are used to treat diseases of the peripheral body. Unfortunately, most of these biologics cannot be used to treat brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multiple sclerosis (MS), and brain tumors in a noninvasive manner due to their inability to permeate the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Therefore, there is a need to develop an effective method to deliver protein drugs into the brain. Here, we report a proof of concept to deliver a recombinant brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to the brains of healthy and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mice via intravenous (iv) injections by co-administering BDNF with a BBB modulator (BBBM) peptide ADTC5. Western blot evaluations indicated that ADTC5 enhanced the brain delivery of BDNF in healthy SJL/elite mice compared to BDNF alone and triggered the phosphorylation of TrkB receptors in the brain. The EAE mice treated with BDNF + ADTC5 suppressed EAE relapse compared to those treated with BDNF alone, ADTC5 alone, or vehicle. We further demonstrated that brain delivery of BDNF induced neuroregeneration via visible activation of oligodendrocytes, remyelination, and ARC and EGR1 mRNA transcript upregulation. In summary, we have demonstrated that ADTC5 peptide modulates the BBB to permit noninvasive delivery of BDNF to exert its neuroregeneration activity in the brains of EAE mice.