Reassembly of native components with donepezil to execute dual-missions in Alzheimer's disease therapy

Huaqing Zhang, Yuanpei Zhao, Miao Yu, Ziqiang Zhao, Peixin Liu, Hao Cheng, Yi Ji, Yi Jin, Bo Sun, Jianping Zhou, Yang Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a multifaceted and progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and deficits of acetylcholine. Accordingly, the intra−/extra-cerebral level of high density lipoprotein (HDL) is crucial on the pathogenesis of AD; and most of all, various HDL-protein subtypes play a double-edged role in AD pathology, of which apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) gives protective outcomes. Inspired from “HDL bionics” we proposed biologically reassembled nanodrugs, donepezil-loaded apolipoprotein A-I-reconstituted HDL (rHDL/Do) that concurrently executed dual-missions of Aβ-targeting clearance and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition in AD therapy. Once prepared, rHDL/Do nanodrug achieved high drug encapsulation efficiency of 90.47%, and mimicked the configurations and properties of natural lipoproteins aiming to significantly enhance BBB penetration and modulate Aβ-induced neuronal damage both in vitro and in vivo. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis confirmed that rHDL/Do facilitated microglial-mediated Aβ intake and degradation, demonstrating low KD value with Aβ affinity (2.45 × 10 −8 of Aβ monomer and 2.78 × 10 −8 of Aβ oligomer). In AD animal models, daily treatment of rHDL/Do efficiently inhibited AChE activity, ameliorated neurologic variation, promoted Aβ clearance, and rescued memory loss at a safe level. The collective findings indicated that the biological nanodrug was provided with the capacities of BBB penetration, Aβ capture and degradation via microglial cells, and cholinergic dysfunction amelioration after controlled donepezil release. In summary, rHDL/Do nanodrugs could offer a promising strategy to synergize both symptom control and disease modification in AD therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-28
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - Feb 28 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholinesterase inhibition
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Aβ clearance
  • Blood brain barrier penetration
  • High density lipoproteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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