Strategies for Intranasal Delivery of Therapeutics for the Prevention and Treatment of NeuroAIDS
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Intranasal drug administration is a noninvasive method of bypassing the blood–brain barrier (BBB) to deliver neurotrophins and other therapeutic agents to the brain and spinal cord. This method allows drugs that do not cross the BBB to be delivered to the central nervous system (CNS) and eliminates the need for systemic delivery, thereby reducing unwanted systemic side effects. Delivery from the nose to the CNS occurs within minutes along both the olfactory and trigeminal neural pathways. Intranasal delivery occurs by an extracellular route and does not require that drugs bind to any receptor or undergo axonal transport. Intranasal delivery also targets the nasal associated lymphatic tissues (NALT) and deep cervical lymph nodes. In addition, intranasally administered therapeutics are observed at high levels in the blood vessel walls and perivascular spaces of the cerebrovasculature. Using this intranasal method in animal models, researchers have successfully reduced stroke damage, reversed Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration, reduced anxiety, improved memory, stimulated cerebral neurogenesis, and treated brain tumors. In humans, intranasal insulin has been shown to improve memory in normal adults and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Intranasal delivery strategies that can be employed to treat and prevent NeuroAIDS include: (1) target antiretrovirals to reach HIV that harbors in the CNS; (2) target therapeutics to protect neurons in the CNS; (3) modulate the neuroimmune function of moncyte/macrophages by targeting the lymphatics, perivascular spaces of the cerebrovasculature, and the CNS; and (4) improve memory and cognitive function by targeting therapeutics to the CNS.