Affiliations: Department of Physiology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA | FPRT Bio, Inc., Scranton, PA, USA
Note:  Correspondence to: Malú G. Tansey, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Physiology, Emory University School of Medicine, 605L Whitehead Biomedical Res. Bldg., 615 Michael Street, GA 30322-3110, Atlanta, USA. Tel.: +1 (404) 727 6126 (Office); +1 (404) 727 6134 (Lab); Fax: +1 (404) 727-2648; E-mail: email@example.com; http://physiology.emory.edu/tansey.htm
Abstract: Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex multi-system age-related neurodegenerative disorder. Targeting the ongoing neuroinflammation in PD patients is one strategy postulated to slow down or halt disease progression. Proof-of-concept studies from our group demonstrated that selective inhibition of soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor (solTNF) by intranigral delivery of dominant negative TNF (DN-TNF) inhibitors reduced neuroinflammation and nigral dopamine (DA) neuron loss in endotoxin and neurotoxin rat models of nigral degeneration. Objective: As a next step toward human clinical trials, we aimed to determine the extent to which peripherally administered DN-TNF inhibitor XPro®1595 could: i) cross the blood-brain-barrier in therapeutically relevant concentrations, ii) attenuate neuroinflammation (microglia and astrocyte), and iii) mitigate loss of nigral DA neurons in rats receiving a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) striatal lesion. Methods: Rats received unilateral 6-OHDA (20 μg into the right striatum). Three or 14 days after lesion, rats were dosed with XPro®1595 (10 mg/kg in saline, subcutaneous) every third day for 35 days. Forelimb asymmetry was used to assess motor deficits after the lesion; brains were harvested 35 days after the lesion for analysis of XPro®1595 levels, glial activation and nigral DA neuron number. Results: Peripheral subcutaneous dosing of XPro®1595 achieved plasma levels of 1–8 microgram/mL and CSF levels of 1–6 ng/mL depending on the time the rats were killed after final XPro®1595 injection. Irrespective of start date, XPro®1595 significantly reduced microglia and astrocyte number in SNpc whereas loss of nigral DA neurons was attenuated when drug was started 3, but not 14 days after the 6-OHDA lesion. Conclusions: Our data suggest that systemically administered XPro®1595 may have disease-modifying potential in PD patients where inflammation is part of their pathology.