Targeted Delivery of LM22A-4 by Cubosomes Protects Retinal Ganglion Cells in an Experimental Glaucoma Model
37 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2020 Publication Status: Published
Glaucoma, a major cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, is associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that undergo apoptosis. A mechanism for RGCs injury involves impairment of neurotrophic support and exogenous supply of neurotrophic factors has been shown to be beneficial. However, neurotrophic factors can have widespread effects on neuronal tissues, thus targeting neurotrophic support to injured neurons may be a better neuroprotective strategy. In this study, we have encapsulated LM22A-4, a small neurotrophic factor mimetic, into Annexin V-conjugated cubosomes (L4-ACs) for targeted delivery to injured RGCs in a model of glaucoma, which is induced by acute IOP elevation. We have tested cubosomes formulations that encapsulate from 9% to 33% LM22A-4. Our data indicated that cubosomes encapsulating 9% and 17% LM22A-4 exhibited a mixture of Pn3m/Im3m cubic phase, whereas 23% and 33% showed a pure Im3m cubic phase. We found that 17% L4-ACs with Pn3m/Im3m symmetries showed better in-situ and in-vitro lipid membrane interactions than the 23% and 33% L4-ACs with Im3m symmetry. In vivo experiments showed that 17% L4-ACs targeted the posterior retina and the optic nerve head, which prevented RGCs loss in a mouse model of acute IOP elevation. These results provide evidence that cubosomes-based LM22A-4 delivery may be a useful targeted approached to prevent the progression of RGCs loss in glaucoma.
Keywords: Cubosomes, apoptosis, LM22A-4, SAXS, Neutron reflectometry, QCM-D, retinal ganglion cell, intraocular pressure and experimental glaucoma model
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