A Positioning Device for the Placement of Mice During Intranasal siRNA Delivery to the Central Nervous System

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

Intranasal (IN) drug delivery to the brain has emerged as a promising method to bypass the blood-brain barrier (BBB) for the delivery of drugs into the central nervous system (CNS). Recent studies demonstrate the use of a peptide, RVG9R, incorporating the minimal receptor-binding domain of the Rabies virus glycoprotein, in eliciting the delivery of siRNA into neurons in the brain. In this protocol, the peptide-siRNA formulation is delivered intranasally with a pipette in the dominant hand, while the anesthetized mouse is restrained by the scruff with the nondominant hand in a "head down-and-forward position" to avoid drainage into the lung and stomach upon inhalation. This precise gripping of mice can be learned but is not easy and requires practice and skill to result in effective CNS uptake. Furthermore, the process is long-drawn, requiring about 45 min for the administration of a total volume of ~20-30 µL of solution in 1-2 µL droplet volumes per inhalation, with 3-4 min rest periods between each inhalation. The objective of this study is to disclose a mouse positioning device that enables the appropriate placement of mice for efficient IN administration of the peptide-siRNA formulation. Multiple features are incorporated into the design of the device, such as four or eight positioning chairs with adjustable height and tilt to restrain anesthetized mice in the head down-and-forward position, enabling easy visualization of the mice's nares and a built-in heating pad to maintain the mice's body temperatures during the procedure. Importantly, the ability to treat four or eight mice simultaneously with RVG9R-siRNA complexes in this manner enables studies on a much quicker time scale, for the testing of an IN therapeutic siRNA approach. In conclusion, this device allows for appropriate and controlled mouse head positioning for IN application of RVG9R-siRNA and other therapeutic molecules, such as nanoparticles or antibodies, for CNS delivery.