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Pharmaceutics. 2013 Feb 8;5(1):127-67. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics5010127.

From molecular to nanotechnology strategies for delivery of neurotrophins: emphasis on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

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CNRS UMR8612 Institut Galien Paris-Sud, 5 rue J.-B. Clément, F-92296 Châtenay-Malabry, France.


Neurodegenerative diseases represent a major public health problem, but beneficial clinical treatment with neurotrophic factors has not been established yet. The therapeutic use of neurotrophins has been restrained by their instability and rapid degradation in biological medium. A variety of strategies has been proposed for the administration of these leading therapeutic candidates, which are essential for the development, survival and function of human neurons. In this review, we describe the existing approaches for delivery of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is the most abundant neurotrophin in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Biomimetic peptides of BDNF have emerged as a promising therapy against neurodegenerative disorders. Polymer-based carriers have provided sustained neurotrophin delivery, whereas lipid-based particles have contributed also to potentiation of the BDNF action. Nanotechnology offers new possibilities for the design of vehicles for neuroprotection and neuroregeneration. Recent developments in nanoscale carriers for encapsulation and transport of BDNF are highlighted.

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