This study reports the use of erythrocyte ghosts (EG) as a biocompatible nonviral delivery system for extended circulation and prolonged expression of plasmid DNA in the blood. Murine interleukin-2-expressing plasmid DNA was efficiently loaded to EG by electroporation in hypotonic condition. The presence of plasmid DNA in EG was confirmed by fluorescence-labeled plasmid DNA. At 21 min after intravenous administration into mice, the level of plasmid DNA in the blood was 92 000-fold higher following EG-mediated delivery as compared to the injection of naked form. EG-mediated gene delivery revealed higher and more prolonged mRNA expression levels of plasmid DNA in the blood until 9 days after the single intravenous injection. Moreover, plasmid DNA-loaded EG showed gene expression targeted to the blood cells. At 3 days post-dose, substantial expression levels of plasmid DNA delivered in EG were observed only in the blood and not in the other organs. Of the blood cells, the subpopulation containing granulocytes showed higher expression of plasmid DNA than mononuclear cells. These results indicate the potential of EG as a safe, prolonged and blood-targeted delivery system of therapeutic genes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a grant of the Korea Health 2001 R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (01-PJ1-PG3-21500-0008). We greatly appreciate Dr Young-Chul Sung (Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, South Korea) for providing the murine IL-2 gene, pCIneoIL-2.
- Erythrocyte ghosts
- Gene expression
- Plasmid DNA
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology