National Research Council of Canada. Human Health Therapeutics
Pain; Receptor-mediated transcytosis; Brain endothelial cells; Mass spectrometry
Receptor mediated transcytosis harnessing the cellular uptake and transport of natural ligands across the blood–brain barrier (BBB) has been identified as a means for antibody delivery to the CNS. In this study, we characterized bispecific antibodies in which a BBB-crossing antibody fragment FC5 was used as a BBB carrier. Cargo antibodies were either a high-affinity, selective antibody antagonist of the metabotropic glutamate receptor-1 (BBB-mGluR1), a widely abundant CNS target, or an IgG that does not bind the CNS target (BBB-NiP). Both BBB-NiP and BBB-mGluR1 demonstrated a similar 20-fold enhanced rate of transcytosis across an in vitro BBB model compared with mGluR1 IgG fused to a control antibody fragment. All 3 bispecific antibodies exhibited identical pharmacokinetics in vivo. Comparative assessment of BBB-NiP and BBB-mGluR1 revealed that, whereas their serum pharmacokinetics and BBB penetration were identical, their central disposition (brain levels) and elimination (cerebrospinal fluid levels) were widely different, due to central target-mediated removal of the mGluR1-engaging antibody. Central mGluR1 target engagement after systemic administration was demonstrated by a dose-dependent inhibition of mGluR-1-mediated thermal hyperalgesia and by colocalization of the antibody with thalamic neurons involved in mGluR1-mediated pain processing. We demonstrate the feasibility of targeting central G-protein-coupled receptors using a BBB-crossing bispecific antibody approach and emerging principles that govern brain distribution and disposition of these antibodies. These data will be important for designing safe and selective CNS antibody therapeutics.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology