Pharmacology Research & Perspectives
Clinically used botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are natural products of Clostridium botulinum. A novel, recombinant BoNT type A1 (rBoNT/A1; IPN10260) has been synthesized using the native amino acid sequence expressed in Escherichia coli and has previously been characterized in vitro and ex vivo. Here, we aimed to characterize rBoNT/A1 in vivo and evaluate its effects on skeletal muscle. The properties of rBoNT/A1 following single, intramuscular administration were evaluated in the mouse and rat digit abduction score (DAS) assays and compared with those of natural BoNT/A1 (nBoNT/A1). rBoNT/A1-injected tibialis anterior was assessed in the in situ muscle force test in rats. rBoNT/A1-injected gastrocnemius lateralis (GL) muscle was assessed in the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) test in rats. The rBoNT/A1-injected GL muscle was evaluated for muscle weight, volume, myofiber composition and immunohistochemical detection of cleaved SNAP25 (c-SNAP25). Results showed that rBoNT/A1 and nBoNT/A1 were equipotent and had similar onset and duration of action in both mouse and rat DAS assays. rBoNT/A1 caused a dose-dependent inhibition of muscle force and a rapid long-lasting reduction in CMAP amplitude that lasted for at least 30 days. Dose-dependent reductions in GL weight and volume and increases in myofiber atrophy were accompanied by immunohistochemical detection of c-SNAP25. Overall, rBoNT/A1 and nBoNT/A1 exhibited similar properties following intramuscular administration. rBoNT/A1 inhibited motoneurons neurotransmitter release, which was robust, long-lasting, and accompanied by cleavage of SNAP25. rBoNT/A1 is a useful tool molecule for comparison with current natural and future modified recombinant neurotoxins products.