Intranasal nanoparticles of basic fibroblast growth factor for brain delivery to treat Alzheimer's disease

Int J Pharm. 2014 Jan 30;461(1-2):192-202. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2013.11.049. Epub 2013 Dec 1.


Disabilities caused by neurodegeneration have become one of the main causes of mortality in elderly population, with drug distribution to the brain remaining one of the most difficult challenges in the treatment of the central nervous system (CNS) diseases due to the existence of blood-brain barrier. Lectins modified polyethylene glycol-polylactide-polyglycolide (PEG-PLGA) nanoparticles could enhance the drug delivery to the brain following intranasal administration. In this study, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was entrapped in nanoparticles conjugated with Solanum tuberosum lectin (STL), which selectively binds to N-acetylglucosamine on the nasal epithelial membrane for its brain delivery. The resulting nanoparticles had uniform particle size and negative zeta potential. The brain distribution of the formulations following intranasal administration was assessed using radioisotopic tracing method. The areas under the concentration-time curve of (125)I-bFGF in the olfactory bulb, cerebrum, and cerebellum of rats following nasal application of STL modified nanoparticles (STL-bFGF-NP) were 1.79-5.17 folds of that of rats with intravenous administration, and 0.61-2.21 and 0.19-1.07 folds higher compared with intranasal solution and unmodified nanoparticles, respectively. Neuroprotective effect was evaluated using Mirror water maze task in rats with intracerebroventricular injection of β-amyloid25-35 and ibotenic acid. The spatial learning and memory of Alzheimer's disease (AD) rats in STL-bFGF-NP group were significantly improved compared with AD model group, and were also better than other preparations. The results were consistent with the value of choline acetyltransferase activity of rat hippocampus as well as the histological observations of rat hippocampal region. The histopathology assays also confirmed the in vivo safety of STL-bFGF-NP. These results clearly indicated that STL-NP was a promising drug delivery system for peptide and protein drugs such as bFGF to enter the CNS and play the therapeutic role.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease (AD); Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF); Brain delivery; Intranasal administration; Nanoparticles; Solanum tuberosum lectin (STL).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / administration & dosage*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / pharmacokinetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Ibotenic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Ibotenic Acid / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Particle Size
  • Plant Lectins / chemistry
  • Polyesters / chemistry
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Solanum tuberosum / metabolism


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Lectins
  • Polyesters
  • polyethylene glycol-poly(lactide-co-glycolide)
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Ibotenic Acid
  • Polyethylene Glycols