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World J Gastroenterol. 2004 Feb 15;10(4):567-72.

Insulin expression in livers of diabetic mice mediated by hydrodynamics-based administration.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Institute of Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China. jlxue@fudan.ac.cn



Transfer and expression of insulin gene in vivo are an alternative strategy to improve glycemic control in type 1 diabetes. Hydrodynamics-based procedure has been proved to be very efficient to transfer naked DNA to mouse livers. The basal hepatic insulin production mediated by this rapid tail vein injection was studied to determine its effect on the resumption of glycemic control in type 1 diabetic mice.


Engineered insulin cDNA was inserted into plasmid vectors under a CMV promoter, and transferred into STZ induced diabetic mice by hydrodynamic procedure. Glucose levels, body weight of treated mice, insulin levels, immunohistology of the liver, and quantity of insulin mRNA in the liver were assayed to identify the improvement of hyperglycemic complication after plasmid administration. Sleeping Beauty, a transposon system, was also used to prolong the insulin expression in the liver.


After plasmid administration, Plasma insulin was significantly increased in the diabetic mice and the livers were insulin-positive by immunostaining. At the same time the hyperglycemic complication was improved. The blood glucose levels of mice were reduced to normal. Glucose tolerance of the treated diabetic mice was improved. Body weight loss was also ameliorated. The rapid tail vein injection did not cause any fatal result.


Our results suggested that insulin gene could be efficiently transferred into the livers of diabetic mice via rapid tail vein injection and it resulted in high level of insulin expression. The basal hepatic insulin production mediated by hydrodynamics-based administration improved the glycemic control in type 1 diabetes dramatically and ameliorated diabetic syndromes. Hydrodynamics-based administration offers a simple and efficient way in the study of gene therapy for type 1 diabetes.

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