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J Control Release. 2013 May 28;168(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2013.03.004. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Gene silencing of TNF-alpha in a murine model of acute colitis using a modified cyclodextrin delivery system.

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  • 1Pharmacodelivery Group, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic relapsing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The cytokine TNF-alpha (TNF-α) plays a pivotal role in mediating this inflammatory response. RNA interference (RNAi) holds great promise for the specific and selective silencing of aberrantly expressed genes, such as TNF-α in IBD. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of an amphiphilic cationic cyclodextrin (CD) vector for effective TNF-α siRNA delivery to macrophage cells and to mice with induced acute-colitis. The stability of CD.siRNA was examined by gel electrophoresis in biorelevant media reflecting colonic fluids. RAW264.7 cells were transfected with CD.TNF-α siRNA, stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and TNF-α and IL-6 responses were measured by PCR and ELISA. Female C57BL/6 mice were exposed to dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) and treated by intrarectal administration with either CD.siRNA TNF-α or a control solution. In vitro, siRNA in CD nanocomplexes remained intact and stable in both fed and fasted simulated colonic fluids. RAW264.7 cells transfected with CD.TNF-α siRNA and stimulated with LPS displayed a significant reduction in both gene and protein levels of TNF-α and IL-6. CD.TNF-α siRNA-treated mice revealed a mild amelioration in clinical signs of colitis, but significant reductions in total colon weight and colonic mRNA expression of TNF-α and IL-6 compared to DSS-control mice were detected. This data indicates the clinical potential of a local CD-based TNF-α siRNA delivery system for the treatment of IBD.

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