A novel CNS-homing peptide for targeting neuroinflammatory lesions in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Mol Cell Probes. 2020 Jun;51:101530. doi: 10.1016/j.mcp.2020.101530. Epub 2020 Feb 5.


Using phage peptide library screening, we identified peptide-encoding phages that selectively home to the inflamed central nervous system (CNS) of mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of human multiple sclerosis (MS). A phage peptide display library encoding cyclic 9-amino-acid random peptides was first screened ex-vivo for binding to the CNS tissue of EAE mice, followed by in vivo screening in the diseased mice. Phage insert sequences that were present at a higher frequency in the CNS of EAE mice than in the normal (control) mice were identified by DNA sequencing. One of the phages selected in this manner, denoted as MS-1, was shown to selectively recognize CNS tissue in EAE mice. Individually cloned phages with this insert preferentially homed to EAE CNS after an intravenous injection. Similarly, systemically-administered fluorescence-labeled synthetic MS-1 peptide showed selective accumulation in the spinal cord of EAE mice. We suggest that peptide MS-1 might be useful for targeted drug delivery to CNS in EAE/MS.

Keywords: CNS; EAE; Homing peptide; Multiple sclerosis; Phage library; Probes; Targeted delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Computational Biology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / pathology
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism


  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides