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Gene Ther. 2010 Sep;17(9):1077-84. doi: 10.1038/gt.2010.46. Epub 2010 Apr 22.

Therapeutic levels of erythropoietin (EPO) achieved after gene electrotransfer to skin in mice.

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Department of Oncology 54B1, Center for Experimental Drug and Gene Electrotransfer, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Herlev, Denmark.


Gene electrotransfer refers to gene transfection by electroporation and is an effective non-viral method for delivering naked DNA into cells and tissues. This study presents data from gene electrotransfer with erythropoietin (EPO) to mouse skin. Nine-week-old female NMRI mice received one, two or three intradermal injections of 50 microg EPO plasmid and were subsequently electroporated. With plate electrodes and 100 microg of EPO, a significant increase in hemoglobin (P<0.01) was observed compared with controls. The level of hemoglobin peaked after 5 weeks but stayed significantly elevated for more than 3 months. Serum EPO was significantly increased (P<0.001) 24 h after the transfection and remained significantly different compared with controls until the maximum level of serum EPO was reached after 2 weeks. Eight weeks after the transfection serum EPO returned to baseline. In this study, we have established that gene electrotransfer to skin of even small amounts of DNA can lead to systemically therapeutic levels of protein. This means that in addition to DNA vaccinations, there is a potential utility for electroporation in alleviating systemic diseases such as cancer and protein deficiency disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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