Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Treatment of Parkinson's disease in rats by Nrf2 transfection using MRI-guided focused ultrasound delivery of nanomicrobubbles.

PMID 27810365


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a very common neurological disorder. However, effective therapy is lacking. Although the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) protects the brain, it prevents the delivery of about 90% of drugs and nucleotides into the brain, thereby hindering the development of gene therapy for PD. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided focused ultrasound delivery of microbubbles enhances the delivery of gene therapy vectors across the BBB and improves transfection efficiency. In the present study, we delivered nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2, NFE2L2) contained in nanomicrobubbles into the substantia nigra of PD rats by MRI-guided focused ultrasound, and we examined the effect of Nrf2 over-expression in this animal model of PD. The rat model of PD was established by injecting 6-OHDA in the right substantia nigra stereotactically. Plasmids (pDC315 or pDC315/Nrf2) were loaded onto nanomicrobubbles, and then injected through the tail vein with the assistance of MRI-guided focused ultrasound. MRI-guided focused ultrasound delivery of nanomicrobubbles increased gene transfection efficiency. Furthermore, Nrf2 gene transfection reduced reactive oxygen species levels, thereby protecting neurons in the target region.