Gene delivery holds therapeutic promise for the treatment of neurological diseases and spinal cord injury. Although several studies have investigated the use of non-viral vectors, such as polyethylenimine (PEI), their clinical value is limited by their cytotoxicity. Recently, biodegradable poly (lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanospheres have been explored as nonviral vectors. Here, we show that modification of PLGA nanospheres with 3β-[N-(N0,N0-dimethylaminoethane) carbamoyl] cholesterol (DC-Chol) enhances gene transfection efficiency. PLGA/DC-Chol nanospheres encapsulating DNA were prepared using a double emulsion-solvent evaporation method. PLGA/DC-Chol nanospheres were less cytotoxic than PEI both in vitro and in vivo. DC-Chol modification improved the uptake of nanospheres, thereby increasing their transfection efficiency in mouse neural stem cells in vitro and rat spinal cord in vivo. Also, transgene expression induced by PLGA nanospheres was higher and longer-lasting than that induced by PEI. In a rat model of spinal cord injury, PLGA/DC-Chol nanospheres loaded with vascular endothelial growth factor gene increased angiogenesis at the injury site, improved tissue regeneration, and resulted in better recovery of locomotor function. These results suggest that DC-Chol-modified PLGA nanospheres could serve as therapeutic gene delivery vehicles for spinal cord injury.
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© 2016 Gwak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)