Although siRNA techniques have been broadly applied as a tool for gene knockdown, substantial challenges remain in achieving efficient delivery and in vivo efficacy. In particular, the low efficiency of target gene silencing in vivo is a critical limiting step to the clinical application of siRNA therapies. Poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers are widely used as carriers for drug and gene delivery; however, in vivo siRNA delivery by PAMAM dendrimers remains to be carefully investigated. In this study, the effectiveness of G5 and G6 PAMAM dendrimers with 8% of their surface amines conjugated to MPEG-5000 was studied for siRNA delivery in vitro and for intramuscular in vivo delivery in mice. The results from the PEG-modified dendrimers were compared to the results from the parent dendrimers as well as Lipofectamine 2000 and INTERFERin. Both PEG-modifed dendrimers protect the siRNA from being digested by RNase and gave high transfection efficiency for FITC-labeled siRNA in the primary vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) and mouse peritoneal macrophages. The PEG-modified dendrimers achieved knockdown of both plasmid (293A cells) and adenovirus-mediated green fluorescence protein (GFP) expression (Cos7 cells) in vitro with efficiency similar to that shown for Lipofectamine 2000. We further demonstrated in vivo that intramuscular delivery of GFP-siRNA using PEG-modified dendrimer significantly suppressed GFP expression in both transiently adenovirus infected C57BL/6 mice and GFP transgenic mice.
- gene silencing effciency
- in vitro and intramuscular siRNA delivery
- PEG-conjugated PAMAM dendrimer
- RNase stability