Carrier peptides, termed protein transduction domains (PTDs), serve as provide promising vehicles for intranasal delivery of macromolecular drugs. A mutant PTD derived from human translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP-PTD 13, MIIFRALISHKK) was reported to provide enhanced intranasal delivery of insulin. In this study, we tested whether its efficiency could be further improved by replacing amino acids in TCTP-PTD 13 or changing the amino acids in the carrier peptides from the l-to the d-form. We assessed the pharmacokinetics of PTD-mediated transmucosal delivery of insulin in normal rats and the activity of insulin in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The safety/toxicity profile of the carrier peptides was evaluated based on the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in nasal wash fluid, body weight changes, and several biochemical parameters. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies showed that the l-form of a double substitution A6L, I8A (MIIFRLLASHKK), designated as l-TCTP-PTD 13M2 was the most effective carrier for intranasal insulin delivery. The relative bioavailability of insulin co-administered intranasally with l-TCTP-PTD 13M2 was 37.1% of the value obtained by the subcutaneous route, which was 1.68-fold higher than for insulin co-administered with l-TCTP-PTD 13. Moreover, co-administration of insulin plus l-TCTP-PTD 13M2 reduced blood glucose levels compared to levels in diabetic rats treated with insulin plus l-TCTP-PTD 13. There was no evidence of toxicity. These results suggest that the newly designed PTD is a useful carrier peptide for the intranasal delivery of drugs or biomolecules.
- Drug delivery
- Intranasal absorption
- Protein transduction domain
- Translationally controlled tumor protein