Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 2011, 108(27): 10952-10957

Functional motor recovery from brain ischemic insult by carbon nanotube-mediated siRNA silencing

K.T.Al-Jamal, L.Gherardini, G.Bardi, A.Nunes, C.Guo, C.Bussy, M.A.Herrero, A.Bianco, M.Prato, K.Kostarelos*, T.Pizzorusso*

Effective delivery of siRNA directly to the CNS has been shown to normalize phenotypes in animal models of several neurological diseases. It is shown here that peri-lesional stereotactic administration of a Caspase-3 siRNA delivered by functionalized carbon nanotubes reduced neurodegeneration and promoted functional preservation before and after focal ischemic damage of the rodent motor cortex using an endothelin-1 induced stroke model. These observations illustrate the opportunity offered by carbon nanotube-mediated siRNA delivery and gene silencing of neuronal tissue applicable to a variety of different neuropathological conditions where intervention at well localized brain foci may offer therapeutic and functional benefits.