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Int J Dev Neurosci. 2006 Apr-May;24(2-3):195-201. Epub 2005 Dec 28.

Thioflavins released from nanoparticles target fibrillar amyloid beta in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 transgenic mice.

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Department of Neurochemistry, Paul Flechsig Institute for Brain Research, University of Leipzig, Jahnallee 59, D-04109 Leipzig, Germany.


For the delivery of drugs into the brain, the use of nanoparticles as carriers has been described as a promising approach. Here, we prepared nanoparticles as carriers for the model drugs thioflavin T and thioflavin S that bind fibrillar amyloid beta peptides (Abeta). These polymer colloids are composed of a polystyrene core and a degradable PBCA [poly(butyl-2-cyanoacrylate)] shell with a diameter of 90-100nm as shown by dynamic light scattering. Fluorescence spectrophotometric analysis revealed that encapsulated thioflavin T exhibited significantly stronger fluorescence than the free fluorophore. The enzymatic degradation of core-shell nanoparticles, as required in vivo, was shown after their treatment with porcine liver esterase, a non-specific esterase, in vitro. Shells of nanoparticles were dose-dependently degraded while their polystyrene cores remained intact. In the cortices of 7-14 months old APP/PS1 mice with age-dependent beta-amyloidosis, thioflavins selectively targeted fibrillar Abeta after biodegradation-induced release from their nanoparticulate carriers upon intracerebral injection. Collectively, our data suggest that core-shell nanoparticles with controlled degradation in vivo can become versatile tools to trace and clear Abeta in the brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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