Background: Minocycline is an oral tetracycline derivative with good bioavailability in the central nervous system (CNS). Minocycline, a potent inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, attenuates disease activity in experimental autoimmune encephatomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Potential adverse effects associated with long-term daily minocycline therapy in human patients are concerning. Here, we investigated whether less frequent treatment with long-circulating polyethylene glycol (PEG) minocycline liposomes are effective in treating EAE. Findings: Performing in vitro time kinetic studies of PEG minocycline-liposomes in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), we determined that PEG minocycline-liposome preparations stabilized with CaCl2 are effective in diminishing MMP-9 activity. Intravenous injections of PEG minocycline-liposomes every five days were as effective in ameliorating clinical EAE as daily intraperitoneal injections of minocycline. Treatment of animals with PEG minocycline-liposomes significantly reduced the number of CNS-infiltrating leukocytes, and the overall expression of MMP-9 in the CNS. There was also a significant suppression of MMP-9 expression and proteolytic activity in splenocytes of treated animals, but not in CNS-infiltrating leukocytes. Thus, leukocytes gaining access to the brain and spinal cord require the same absolute amount of MMP-9 in all treatment groups, but minocycline decreases the absolute cell number. Conclusions: Our data indicate that less frequent injections of PEG minocycline-liposomes are an effective alternative pharmacotherapy to daily minocycline injections for the treatment of CNS autoimmune diseases. Also, inhibition of MMP-9 remains a promising treatment target in EAE and patients with MS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)