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Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor gene delivery via a polyethylene imine grafted chitosan carrier

Authors Peng YS, Lai PL, Peng S, Wu HC, Yu S, Tseng TY, Wang LF, Chu IM

Received 10 January 2014

Accepted for publication 23 March 2014

Published 28 June 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 3163—3174

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S60465

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Yu-Shiang Peng,1,* Po-Liang Lai,2,* Sydney Peng,1 His-Chin Wu,3 Siang Yu,1 Tsan-Yun Tseng,4 Li-Fang Wang,5 I-Ming Chu1

1Department of Chemical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, 3Department of Materials Engineering, Tatung University, Taipei, 4Graduate School of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, College of Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Chung-Li, 5Department of Medicinal and Applied Chemistry, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

*Yu-Shiang Peng and Po-Liang Lai contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Parkinson’s disease is known to result from the loss of dopaminergic neurons. Direct intracerebral injections of high doses of recombinant glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) have been shown to protect adult nigral dopaminergic neurons. Because GDNF does not cross the blood–brain barrier, intracerebral gene transfer is an ideal option. Chitosan (CHI) is a naturally derived material that has been used for gene transfer. However, the low water solubility often leads to decreased transfection efficiency. Grafting of highly water-soluble polyethylene imines (PEI) and polyethylene glycol onto polymers can increase their solubility. The purpose of this study was to design a non-viral gene carrier with improved water solubility as well as enhanced transfection efficiency for treating Parkinsonism. Two molecular weights (Mw =600 and 1,800 g/mol) of PEI were grafted onto CHI (PEI600-g-CHI and PEI1800-g-CHI, respectively) by opening the epoxide ring of ethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (EX-810). This modification resulted in a non-viral gene carrier with less cytotoxicity. The transfection efficiency of PEI600-g-CHI/deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) polyplexes was significantly higher than either PEI1800-g-CHI/DNA or CHI/DNA polyplexes. The maximal GDNF expression of PEI600-g-CHI/DNA was at the polymer:DNA weight ratio of 10:1, which was 1.7-fold higher than the maximal GDNF expression of PEI1800-g-CHI/DNA. The low toxicity and high transfection efficiency of PEI600-g-CHI make it ideal for application to GDNF gene therapy, which has potential for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Keywords: chitosan, gene transfection, glial cell, Parkinson’s disease, polyethylene imine

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