Bi-functional sterically hindered phenol lipid-based delivery systems as potential multi-target agents against Alzheimer's disease via an intranasal route†
New lipid-based nanomaterials and multi-target directed ligands (MTDLs) based on sterically hindered phenol, containing a quaternary ammonium moiety (SHP-s-R, with s = 2,3) of varying hydrophobicity (R = CH2Ph and CnH2n+1, with n = 8, 10, 12, 16), have been prepared as potential drugs against Alzheimer's disease (AD). SHP-s-R are inhibitors of human cholinesterases with antioxidant properties. The inhibitory potency of SHP-s-R and selectivity ratio of cholinesterase inhibition were found to significantly depend on the length of the methylene spacer (s) and alkyl chain length. The compound SHP-2-16 showed the best IC50 for human AChE and the highest selectivity, being 30-fold more potent than for human BChE. Molecular modeling of SHP-2-16 binding to human AChE suggests that this compound is a dual binding site inhibitor that interacts with both the peripheral anionic site and catalytic active site. The relationship between self-assembly parameters (CMC, solubilization capacity, aggregation number), antioxidant activity and a toxicological parameter (hemolytic action on human red blood cells) was investigated. Two sterically hindered phenols (SHP-2-Bn and SHP-2-R) were loaded into L-α-phosphatidylcholine (PC) nanoparticles by varying the SHP alkyl chain length. For the brain AChE inhibition assay, PC/SHP-2-Bn/SHP-2-16 nanoparticles were administered to rats intranasally at a dose of 8 mg kg−1. The Morris water maze experiment showed that scopolamine-induced AD-like dementia in rats treated with PC/SHP-2-Bn/SHP-2-16 nanoparticles was significantly reduced. This is the first example of cationic SHP-phospholipid nanoparticles for inhibition of brain cholinesterases realized by the use of intranasal administration. This route has promising potential for the treatment of AD.