International journal of pharmaceutics

Enhancement of nose-to-brain delivery of basic fibroblast growth factor for improving rat memory impairments induced by co-injection of β-amyloid and ibotenic acid into the bilateral hippocampus.

PMID 22193058


Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) delivery to the brain of animals appears to be an emerging potential therapeutic approach to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). The intranasal route of administration could provide an alternative to intracerebroventricular infusion. A nasal spray of bFGF had been developed previously and the objective of the present study was to investigate whether bFGF nasal spray could enhance brain uptake of bFGF and ameliorate memory impairment induced by co-injection of β-amyloid(25-35) and ibotenic acid into bilateral hippocampus of rats. The results of brain uptake study showed that the AUC(0-12h) of bFGF nasal spray in olfactory bulb, cerebrum, cerebellum and hippocampus was respectively 2.47, 2.38, 2.56 and 2.19 times that of intravenous bFGF solution, and 1.11, 1.95, 1.40 and 1.93 times that of intranasal bFGF solution, indicating that intranasal administration of bFGF nasal spray was an effective means of delivering bFGF to the brain, especially to cerebrum and hippocampus. In Morris water maze tasks, intravenous administration of bFGF solution at high dose (40 μg/kg) showed little improvement on spatial memory impairment. In contrast, bFGF solution of the same dose following intranasal administration could significantly ameliorate spatial memory impairment. bFGF nasal spray obviously improved spatial memory impairment even at a dose half (20 μg/kg) of bFGF solution, recovered their acetylcholinesterase and choline acetyltransferase activity to the sham control level, and alleviated neuronal degeneration in rat hippocampus, indicating neuroprotective effects on the central nerve system. In a word, bFGF nasal spray may be a new formulation of great potential for treating AD.