CNS delivery of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides using biodegradable microspheres

  • Dawn L. Smith

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Antisense oligodeoxynucleotides can selectively inhibit gene expression provided they are delivered to their target site successfully for a sufficient duration. Biodegradable microspheres have previously been developed for the potential systemic delivery of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides and offer an excellent strategy for central administration of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides, providing a sustained-release delivery system. Biodegradable microspheres were formulated to entrap antisense oligodeoxynucleotides for stereotaxic implantation into site-specific regions of the rat brain.Release profiles of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides from biodegradable microspheres over 56 days that were triphasic were observed with high molecular weight polymers. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotides loaded into microspheres (1-10μm) had a five-fold increase in cellular association with glial and neuronal cells compared to the naked molecule, which was partially due to a greater cellular accumulation as observed by a slower efflux profile. In vivo distribution studies of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides demonstrated that the use of microspheres provided a sustained-release over more than 2 days compared to 12 hours of the naked molecule. Efficacy of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides was demonstrated during locomotor activity investigations, which significantly reduced cocaine-induced locomotor activity, where no efficacy was demonstrated with microspheres, possibly attributed to antisense loading and measurements being taken during a lag phase of antisense oligodeoxynucleotide release. Biodegradable microspheres can be delivered site-specifically into the brain and provide sustained-release of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides, offering the potential of in vivo efficacy in these reagents in the brain.
Date of AwardMar 2000
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorSaghir Akhtar (Supervisor) & S. Volsen (Supervisor)


  • microspheres
  • antisense
  • oligodeoxynucleotides
  • poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide)
  • D2 dopamine receptor

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