Pharmacodynamic and therapeutic investigation of focused ultrasound-induced blood-brain barrier opening for enhanced temozolomide delivery in glioma treatment.
ABSTRACT: Focused ultrasound (FUS) exposure with the presence of microbubbles has been shown to transiently open the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and thus has potential to enhance the delivery of various kinds of therapeutic agents into brain tumors. The purpose of this study was to assess the preclinical therapeutic efficacy of FUS-BBB opening for enhanced temozolomide (TMZ) delivery in glioma treatment. FUS exposure with microbubbles was delivered to open the BBB of nude mice that were either normal or implanted with U87 human glioma cells. Different TMZ dose regimens were tested, ranging from 2.5 to 25 mg/kg. Plasma and brain samples were obtained at different time-points ranging from 0.5 to 4 hours, and the TMZ concentration within samples was quantitated via a developed LC-MS/MS procedure. Tumor progression was followed with T2-MRI, and animal survival and brain tissue histology were conducted. Results demonstrated that FUS-BBB opening caused the local TMZ accumulation in the brain to increase from 6.98 to 19 ng/mg. TMZ degradation time in the tumor core was found to increase from 1.02 to 1.56 hours. Improved tumor progression and animal survival were found at different TMZ doses (up to 15% and 30%, respectively). In conclusion, this study provides preclinical evidence that FUS-BBB opening increases the local concentration of TMZ to improve the control of tumor progression and animal survival, suggesting the potential for clinical application to improve current brain tumor treatment.
Project description:The purpose of this study is to assess the preclinical therapeutic efficacy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-monitored focused ultrasound (FUS)-induced blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption to enhance Temozolomide (TMZ) delivery for improving Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) treatment. MRI-monitored FUS with microbubbles was used to transcranially disrupt the BBB in brains of Fisher rats implanted with 9L glioma cells. FUS-BBB opening was spectrophotometrically determined by leakage of dyes into the brain, and TMZ was quantitated in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma by LC-MS\MS. The effects of treatment on tumor progression (by MRI), animal survival and brain tissue histology were investigated. Results demonstrated that FUS-BBB opening increased the local accumulation of dyes in brain parenchyma by 3.8-/2.1-fold in normal/tumor tissues. Compared to TMZ alone, combined FUS treatment increased the TMZ CSF/plasma ratio from 22.7% to 38.6%, reduced the 7-day tumor progression ratio from 24.03 to 5.06, and extended the median survival from 20 to 23 days. In conclusion, this study provided preclinical evidence that FUS BBB-opening increased the local concentration of TMZ to improve the control of tumor progression and animal survival, suggesting its clinical potential for improving current brain tumor treatment.
Project description:The delivery of systemically administered gene therapies to brain tumors is exceptionally difficult because of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-tumor barrier (BTB). In addition, the adhesive and nanoporous tumor extracellular matrix hinders therapeutic dispersion. We first developed the use of magnetic resonance image (MRI)-guided focused ultrasound (FUS) and microbubbles as a platform approach for transfecting brain tumors by targeting the delivery of systemically administered "brain-penetrating" nanoparticle (BPN) gene vectors across the BTB/BBB. Next, using an MRI-based transport analysis, we determined that after FUS-mediated BTB/BBB opening, mean interstitial flow velocity magnitude doubled, with "per voxel" flow directions changing by an average of ~70° to 80°. Last, we observed that FUS-mediated BTB/BBB opening increased the dispersion of directly injected BPNs through tumor tissue by >100%. We conclude that FUS-mediated BTB/BBB opening yields markedly augmented interstitial tumor flow that, in turn, plays a critical role in enhancing BPN transport through tumor tissue.
Project description:The use of focused ultrasound (FUS) with microbubbles has been proven to induce transient blood-brain barrier opening (BBB-opening). However, FUS-induced inertial cavitation of microbubbles can also result in erythrocyte extravasations. Here we investigated whether induction of submicron bubbles to oscillate at their resonant frequency would reduce inertial cavitation during BBB-opening and thereby eliminate erythrocyte extravasations in a rat brain model. FUS was delivered with acoustic pressures of 0.1-4.5 MPa using either in-house manufactured submicron bubbles or standard SonoVue microbubbles. Wideband and subharmonic emissions from bubbles were used to quantify inertial and stable cavitation, respectively. Erythrocyte extravasations were evaluated by in vivo post-treatment magnetic resonance susceptibility-weighted imaging, and finally by histological confirmation. We found that excitation of submicron bubbles with resonant frequency-matched FUS (10 MHz) can greatly limit inertial cavitation while enhancing stable cavitation. The BBB-opening was mainly caused by stable cavitation, whereas the erythrocyte extravasation was closely correlated with inertial cavitation. Our technique allows extensive reduction of inertial cavitation to induce safe BBB-opening. Furthermore, the safety issue of BBB-opening was not compromised by prolonging FUS exposure time, and the local drug concentrations in the brain tissues were significantly improved to 60 times (BCNU; 18.6 µg versus 0.3 µg) by using chemotherapeutic agent-loaded submicron bubbles with FUS. This study provides important information towards the goal of successfully translating FUS brain drug delivery into clinical use.
Project description:Microbubbles (MBs) serve as a critical catalyst to amplify local cavitation in CNS capillary lumen to facilitate focused ultrasound (FUS) to transiently open the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, limited understanding is available regarding the effect of different microbubbles to induce BBB opening. The aim of this study is to characterize different MBs on their effect in FUS-induced BBB opening. Three MBs, SonoVue, Definity, and USphere, were tested, with 0.4-MHz FUS exposure at 0.62-1.38 of mechanical index (MI) on rats. Evans blue, dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI and small-animal ultrasound imaging were used as surrogates to allow molecule-penetrated quantification, BBB-opened observation, and MBs circulation/persistence. Cavitation activity was measured via the passive cavitation detection (PCD) setup to correlate with the exposure level and the histological effect. Under given and identical MB concentrations, the three MBs induced similar and equivalent BBB-opening effects and persistence. In addition, a treatment paradigm by adapting exposure time is proposed to compensate MB decay to retain the persistence of BBB-opening efficiency in multiple FUS exposures. The results potentially improve understanding of the equivalence among MBs in focused ultrasound CNS drug delivery, and provide an effective strategy for securing persistence in this treatment modality.
Project description:Background: Focused ultrasound (FUS) activation of microbubbles (MBs) for blood-brain (BBB) and blood-tumor barrier (BTB) opening permits targeted therapeutic delivery. While the effects of FUS+MBs mediated BBB opening have been investigated for normal brain tissue, no such studies exist for intracranial tumors. As this technology advances into clinical immunotherapy trials, it will be crucial to understand how FUS+MBs modulates the tumor immune microenvironment. Methods and Results: Bulk RNA sequencing revealed that FUS+MBs BTB/BBB opening (1 MHz, 0.5 MPa peak-negative pressure) of intracranial B16F1cOVA tumors increases the expression of genes related to proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine signaling, pattern recognition receptor signaling, and antigen processing and presentation. Flow cytometry revealed increased maturation (i.e. CD86) of dendritic cells (DCs) in the meninges and altered antigen loading of DCs in both the tumor and meninges. For DCs in tumor draining lymph nodes, FUS+MBs had no effect on maturation and elicited only a trend towards increased presentation of tumor-derived peptide by MHC. Neither tumor endothelial cell adhesion molecule expression nor homing of activated T cells was affected by FUS+MBs. Conclusion: FUS+MBs-mediated BTB/BBB opening elicits signatures of inflammation; however, the response is mild, transient, and unlikely to elicit a systemic response independent of administration of immune adjuvants.
Project description:The treatment of brain diseases is hindered by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) preventing most drugs from entering the brain. Focused ultrasound (FUS) with microbubbles can open the BBB safely and reversibly. Systemic drug injection might induce toxicity, but encapsulation into nanoparticles reduces accumulation in normal tissue. Here we used a novel platform based on poly(2-ethyl-butyl cyanoacrylate) nanoparticle-stabilized microbubbles to permeabilize the BBB in a melanoma brain metastasis model. With a dual-frequency ultrasound transducer generating FUS at 1.1 MHz and 7.8 MHz, we opened the BBB using nanoparticle-microbubbles and low-frequency FUS, and applied high-frequency FUS to generate acoustic radiation force and push nanoparticles through the extracellular matrix. Using confocal microscopy and image analysis, we quantified nanoparticle extravasation and distribution in the brain parenchyma. We also evaluated haemorrhage, as well as the expression of P-glycoprotein, a key BBB component. FUS and microbubbles distributed nanoparticles in the brain parenchyma, and the distribution depended on the extent of BBB opening. The results from acoustic radiation force were not conclusive, but in a few animals some effect could be detected. P-glycoprotein was not significantly altered immediately after sonication. In summary, FUS with our nanoparticle-stabilized microbubbles can achieve accumulation and displacement of nanoparticles in the brain parenchyma.
Project description:The blood-brain-barrier (BBB) prevents the transport of most anticancer agents to the central nervous system and restricts delivery to infiltrating brain tumors. The heterogeneous vascular permeability in tumor vessels, along with several other factors, creates additional barriers for drug treatment of brain tumors. Focused ultrasound (FUS), when combined with circulating microbubbles, is an emerging noninvasive method to temporarily permeabilize the BBB and the "blood-tumor barrier". Here, we tested the impact of three weekly sessions of FUS and liposomal doxorubicin (DOX) in 9L rat glioma tumors. Animals that received FUS+DOX (N=8) had a median survival time that was increased significantly (P<0.001) compared to animals who received DOX only (N=6), FUS only (N=8), or no treatment (N=7). Median survival for animals that received FUS+DOX was increased by 100% relative to untreated controls, whereas animals who received DOX alone had only a 16% improvement. Animals who received only FUS showed no improvement. No tumor cells were found in histology in 4/8 animals in the FUS+DOX group, and in two animals, only a few tumor cells were detected. Adverse events in the treatment group included skin toxicity, impaired activity, damage to surrounding brain tissue, and tissue loss at the tumor site. In one animal, intratumoral hemorrhage was observed. These events are largely consistent with known side effects of doxorubicin and with an extensive tumor burden. Overall this work demonstrates that multiple sessions using this FUS technique to enhance the delivery of liposomal doxorubicin have a pronounced therapeutic effect in this rat glioma model.
Project description:The blood brain barrier (BBB) is a major obstacle to the delivery of therapeutics to the brain. Focused ultrasound (FUS) in combination with microbubbles can non-invasively open the BBB in a targeted manner. Bolus intravenous injections of microbubbles are standard practice, but dynamic influx and clearance mechanisms prevent delivery of a uniform dose with time. When multiple targets are selected for sonication in a single treatment, uniform serum concentrations of microbubbles are important for consistent BBB opening. Herein, we show that bubble infusions were able to achieve consistent BBB opening at multiple target sites. FUS exposures were conducted with different Definity microbubble concentrations at various acoustic pressures. To quantify the effects of infusion on BBB opening, we calculated the MRI contrast enhancement rate. When infusions were performed at rates of 7.2 µl microbubbles/kg/min or below, we were able to obtain consistent BBB opening without injury at all pressures. However, when infusion rates exceeded 20 µl/kg/min, signs of injury occurred at pressures from 0.39 to 0.56 MPa. When compared to bolus injections, a bubble infusion offers a more controlled and consistent approach to multi-target BBB disruption.
Project description:Focused ultrasound (FUS) in the presence of systemically administered microbubbles has been shown to locally, transiently and reversibly increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), thus allowing targeted delivery of therapeutic agents in the brain for the treatment of central nervous system diseases. Currently, microbubbles are the only agents that have been used to facilitate the FUS-induced BBB opening. However, they are constrained within the intravascular space due to their micron-size diameters, limiting the delivery effect at or near the microvessels. In the present study, acoustically-activated nanodroplets were used as a new class of contrast agents to mediate FUS-induced BBB opening in order to study the feasibility of utilizing these nanoscale phase-shift particles for targeted drug delivery in the brain. Significant dextran delivery was achieved in the mouse hippocampus using nanodroplets at clinically relevant pressures. Passive cavitation detection was used in the attempt to establish a correlation between the amount of dextran delivered in the brain and the acoustic emission recorded during sonication. Conventional microbubbles with the same lipid shell composition and perfluorobutane core as the nanodroplets were also used to compare the efficiency of an FUS-induced dextran delivery. It was found that nanodroplets had a higher BBB opening pressure threshold but a lower stable cavitation threshold than microbubbles, suggesting that contrast agent-dependent acoustic emission monitoring was needed. A more homogeneous dextran delivery within the targeted hippocampus was achieved using nanodroplets without inducing inertial cavitation or compromising safety. Our results offered a new means of developing the FUS-induced BBB opening technology for potential extravascular targeted drug delivery in the brain, extending the potential drug delivery region beyond the cerebral vasculature.
Project description:Focused ultrasound (FUS) with the presence of microbubbles induces blood brain barrier (BBB) opening in targeted areas and facilitates drug delivery. However, recent studies have indicated that FUS-BBB opening with excessive exposure levels may be associated with inflammatory response and cellular/tissue damage. Multiple weekly FUS exposures have been shown to be safe for human subjects. However the effect of more frequent FUS exposures is still unknown. This study examines whether frequent focused ultrasound blood brain barrier opening is associated with aggravated behavioral, histopathologic change or brain tissue damage. Two protocols of focused ultrasound blood brain barrier opening were devised using different microbubble doses (0.15?µl/kg and 0.4?µl/kg). Focused ultrasound exposure at a threshold level of BBB-opening, below-threshold level, or above level for intracerebral hemorrhage were delivered every 2 days. Animal behavioral and physiological changes were examined and recorded. Brain tissue was examined for hemorrhage and apoptosis. Results indicate that frequent exposure of excessive focused ultrasound (1.4 mechanical index) produced minor and short-term behavioral changes despite significant tissue damage, while frequent BBB opening with threshold or below-threshold FUS exposure (0.33-0.8 mechanical index) did not cause behavioral or histological change. Immunofluorescent examination of rat brain tissue indicated that excessive doses of microbubble administration induce an apparent cellular apoptotic response, which may be exacerbated by intracerebral hemorrhage. Experimental results suggest that frequent focused ultrasound blood brain barrier opening with sufficient ultrasound exposure level and a microbubble dose can be safe and pose minimal risk to brain tissue.