Airway delivery of low-dose miglustat normalizes nasal potential difference in F508del cystic fibrosis mice

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 Jun 1;179(11):1022-8. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200901-0049OC. Epub 2009 Mar 19.


Rationale: N-butyldeoxynojyrimicin (NB-DNJ, miglustat [Zavesca]) an approved drug for treating Gaucher disease, was reported to be able to correct the defective trafficking of the F508del-CFTR protein.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of in vivo airway delivery of miglustat for restoring ion transport in cystic fibrosis (CF).

Methods: We used nasal transepithelial potential difference (PD) as a measure of sodium and chloride transport. The effect of nasal instillation of a single dose of miglustat was investigated in F508del, cftr knockout and normal homozygous mice. The galactose iminosugar analog N-butyldeoxygalactonojirimycin (NB-DGJ) was used as a placebo.

Measurements and main results: In F508del mice, sodium conductance (evaluated by basal hyperpolarization) and chloride conductance (evaluated by perfusing the nasal mucosa with chloride-free solution in the presence of amiloride and forskolin) were normalized 1 hour after an intranasal dose of 50 picomoles of miglustat. Chloride conductance in the presence of 200 microM 4-4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulphonic acid (DIDS), an inhibitor of alternative chloride channels, was much higher after miglustat than after placebo. In cftr knockout mice, a normalizing effect was observed on sodium but not on chloride conductance.

Conclusions: Our results provide clear evidence that nasal delivery of miglustat, at picomolar doses, normalizes sodium and Cftr-dependent chloride transport in F508del transgenic mice; they highlight the potential of topical miglustat as a therapy for CF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Deoxynojirimycin / administration & dosage
  • 1-Deoxynojirimycin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Animals
  • Chloride Channels / drug effects*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Sodium Channels / drug effects*


  • Chloride Channels
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Sodium Channels
  • 1-Deoxynojirimycin
  • miglustat