Delivery of siRNA to endothelial cells in vivo using lysine/histidine oligopeptide-modified poly(beta-amino ester) nanoparticles


Dosta, Pere; Demos, Catherine; Ramos, Victor; Kang, Dong Won; Kumar, Sandeep; Jo, Hanjoong; Borrós, Salvador


Purpose: Endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction underlies the pathology of multiple disease conditions including cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Dysfunctional ECs have a distinctive gene expression profile compared to healthy ECs. RNAi therapy is a powerful therapeutic approach that can be used to silence multiple genes of interests simultaneously. However, the delivery of RNAi to ECs in vivo continues to be a major challenge. Here, we optimized a polymer formulation based on poly(β-amino ester)s (pBAEs) to deliver siRNA to vascular ECs. Methods: We developed a library of bioinspired oligopeptide-modified pBAE nanoparticles (NPs) with different physicochemical proprieties and screened them for cellular uptake and efficacy of RNAi delivery in vitro using ECs, vascular smooth muscle cells, and THP-1 monocytes. From the screening, the lysine-/histidine-oligopeptide modified pBAE (C6-KH) NP was selected and further tested ex vivo using mouse aorta and in mice to determine efficiency of siRNA delivery in vivo. Results: The in vitro screening study showed that C6-KH was most efficient in delivering siRNA to ECs. Ex vivo study showed that C6-KH nanoparticles containing siRNAs accumulated in the endothelial layer of mouse aortas. In vivo study showed that C6-KH nanoparticles carrying siICAM2 injected via tail-vein in mice significantly reduced ICAM2 level in the artery endothelium (55%), lung (52%), and kidney (31%), but not in the liver, heart, and thymus, indicating a tissue-specific delivery pattern. Conclusions: We demonstrate that C6-KH pBAE can used for delivery of siRNAs to the artery endothelium and lung, while minimizing potential side or toxic effects in the liver and heart.









Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology, February 2021, v.12, n.1, p. 114-125

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