PAMAM dendrimers cross the blood–brain barrier when administered through the carotid artery in C57BL/6J mice

Bhairavi Srinageshwar, Sarah Peruzzaro, Melissa Andrews, Kayla Johnson, Allison Hietpas, Brittany Clark, Crystal McGuire, Eric Petersen, Jordyn Kippe, Andrew Stewart, Olivia Lossia, Abeer Al-Gharaibeh, Aaron Antcliff, Rebecca Culver, Douglas Swanson, Gary Dunbar, Ajit Sharma, Julien Rossignol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Drug delivery into the central nervous system (CNS) is challenging due to the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and drug delivery into the brain overcoming the BBB can be achieved using nanoparticles such as dendrimers. The conventional cationic dendrimers used are highly toxic. Therefore, the present study investigates the role of novel mixed surface dendrimers, which have potentially less toxicity and can cross the BBB when administered through the carotid artery in mice. In vitro experiments investigated the uptake of amine dendrimers (G1-NH2 and G4-NH2) and novel dendrimers (G1-90/10 and G4-90/10) by primary cortical cultures. In vivo experiments involved transplantation of G4-90/10 into mice through (1) invasive intracranial injections into the striatum; and (2) less invasive carotid injections. The animals were sacrificed 24-h and 1-week post-transplantations and their brains were analyzed. In vivo experiments proved that the G4-90/10 can cross the BBB when injected through the carotid artery and localize within neurons and glial cells. The dendrimers were found to migrate through the corpus callosum 1-week post intracranial injection. Immunohistochemistry showed that the migrating cells are the dendrimer-infected glial cells. Overall, our results suggest that poly-amidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers may be used as a minimally invasive means to deliver biomolecules for treating neurological diseases or disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number628
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2017


  • Bio-distribution and uptake
  • Blood–brain barrier
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Non-invasive delivery
  • PAMAM dendrimer nanoparticle


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