Blood-brain barrier–penetrating siRNA nanomedicine for Alzheimer’s disease therapy

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Science Advances  09 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 41, eabc7031
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc7031


Toxic aggregated amyloid-β accumulation is a key pathogenic event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which derives from amyloid precursor protein (APP) through sequential cleavage by BACE1 (β-site APP cleavage enzyme 1) and γ-secretase. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) show great promise for AD therapy by specific silencing of BACE1. However, lack of effective siRNA brain delivery approaches limits this strategy. Here, we developed a glycosylated “triple-interaction” stabilized polymeric siRNA nanomedicine (Gal-NP@siRNA) to target BACE1 in APP/PS1 transgenic AD mouse model. Gal-NP@siRNA exhibits superior blood stability and can efficiently penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) via glycemia-controlled glucose transporter-1 (Glut1)–mediated transport, thereby ensuring that siRNAs decrease BACE1 expression and modify relative pathways. Noticeably, Gal-NP@siBACE1 administration restored the deterioration of cognitive capacity in AD mice without notable side effects. This “Trojan horse” strategy supports the utility of RNA interference therapy in neurodegenerative diseases.

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