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Mol Ther. 2012 Jan;20(1):91-100. doi: 10.1038/mt.2011.210. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Delivery of siRNA to the mouse lung via a functionalized lipopolyamine.

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EGEN Inc., Huntsville, Alabama 35806, USA.


We have designed a series of versatile lipopolyamines which are amenable to chemical modification for in vivo delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA). This report focuses on one such lipopolyamine (Staramine), its functionalized derivatives and the lipid nanocomplexes it forms with siRNA. Intravenous (i.v.) administration of Staramine/siRNA nanocomplexes modified with methoxypolyethylene glycol (mPEG) provides safe and effective delivery of siRNA and significant target gene knockdown in the lungs of normal mice, with much lower knockdown in liver, spleen, and kidney. Although siRNA delivered via Staramine is initially distributed across all these organs, the observed clearance rate from the lung tissue is considerably slower than in other tissues resulting in prolonged siRNA accumulation on the timescale of RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated transcript depletion. Complete blood count (CBC) analysis, serum chemistry analysis, and histopathology results are all consistent with minimal toxicity. An in vivo screen of mPEG modified Staramine nanocomplexes-containing siRNAs targeting lung cell-specific marker proteins reveal exclusive transfection of endothelial cells. Safe and effective delivery of siRNA to the lung with chemically versatile lipopolyamine systems provides opportunities for investigation of pulmonary cell function in vivo as well as potential treatments of pulmonary disease with RNAi-based therapeutics.

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