Injured endothelium is an important target for drug and/or gene therapy because brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) play critical roles in various pathophysiological conditions. RNA-mediated gene silencing presents a new therapeutic approach for treating such diseases, but major challenge is to ensure minimal toxicity and target delivery of siRNA to injured BMECs. Injured BMECs overexpress tissue factor (TF), which the fusion protein EGFP-EGF1 could be targeted to. In this study, TNF alpha (TNF-α) was chosen as a stimulus for primary BMECs to produce injured endothelium in vitro. The EGFP-EGF1-PLGA nanoparticles (ENPs) with loaded TF-siRNA were used as a new carrier for targeted delivery to the injured BMECs. The nanoparticles then produced intracellular RNA interference against TF. We compared ENP-based transfections with NP-mediated transfections, and our studies show that the ENP-based transfections result in a more efficient downregulation of TF. Our findings also show that the TF siRNA-loaded ENPs had minimal toxicity, with almost 96% of the cells viable 24 h after transfection while Lipofectamine-based transfections resulted in only 75% of the cells. Therefore, ENP-based transfection could be used for efficient siRNA transfection to injured BMECs and for efficient RNA interference (RNAi). This transfection could serve as a potential treatment for diseases, such as stroke, atherosclerosis and cancer. © 2013 Chen et al.
Chen, C., Mei, H., Shi, W., Deng, J., Zhang, B., Guo, T., … Hu, Y. (2013). EGFP-EGF1-Conjugated PLGA Nanoparticles for Targeted Delivery of siRNA into Injured Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells for Efficient RNA Interference. PLoS ONE, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0060860