Nanocarriers for Delivery of Oligonucleotides to the CNS

Male, David and Gromnicova, Radka (2022). Nanocarriers for Delivery of Oligonucleotides to the CNS. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(2), article no. 760.



Nanoparticles with oligonucleotides bound to the outside or incorporated into the matrix can be used for gene editing or to modulate gene expression in the CNS. These nanocarriers are usually optimised for transfection of neurons or glia. They can also facilitate transcytosis across the brain endothelium to circumvent the blood-brain barrier. This review examines the different formulations of nanocarriers and their oligonucleotide cargoes, in relation to their ability to enter the brain and modulate gene expression or disease. The size of the nanocarrier is critical in determining the rate of clearance from the plasma as well as the intracellular routes of endothelial transcytosis. The surface charge is important in determining how it interacts with the endothelium and the target cell. The structure of the oligonucleotide affects its stability and rate of degradation, while the chemical formulation of the nanocarrier primarily controls the location and rate of cargo release. Due to the major anatomical differences between humans and animal models of disease, successful gene therapy with oligonucleotides in humans has required intrathecal injection. In animal models, some progress has been made with intraventricular or intravenous injection of oligonucleotides on nanocarriers. However, getting significant amounts of nanocarriers across the blood-brain barrier in humans will likely require targeting endothelial solute carriers or vesicular transport systems.

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