Pegylated nanoparticles for the oral delivery of nimodipine: pharmacokinetics and effect on the anxiety and cognition in mice
Nimodipine may be of interest to treat behavioral alterations and memory deficits. However, its oral administration is hampered by a low bioavailability. The aim of this work was to develop pegylated nanoparticles as oral carriers of nimodipine and test their capability to both reverse the anxiety and protect against cognitive impairment of in stressed mice. Pegylated nanoparticles (NMD-NP/PEG), with a size of 190 nm and a payload of 68 mu g/mg, significantly improve the oral bioavailability of nimodipine; about 7-times higher than for the control drug solution (62% vs 9%). The effect of oral nimodipine on the anxiety and cognitive capabilities in a model of stressed mice was also evaluated. NMD-NP/PEG displayed a poor effect on the anxiety-like behavior of animals. Nevertheless, only the treatment with NMD-NP/PEG exerted a protective effect against the memory impairments induced by chronic corticosterone administration, improving the cognitive capabilities of animals when compared with controls. These pegylated nanocarriers may represent a useful strategy to develop new oral treatments for preventing from cognitive impairments.