Electrically-assisted gene delivery is a non-viral gene delivery technique, using application of square wave electric pulses to facilitate uptake of plasmid DNA into the cells. Feasibility and effectiveness of this method in vivo was already demonstrated, elaborating on pulse parameters and plasmid construction. However, there were no studies performed on sequencing and timing of plasmid DNA injection into the tumors and application of electric pulses. For this purpose we measured luciferase expression in two tumor models (LPB fibrosarcoma, B16F1 melanoma) after electricallyassisted gene delivery at varying time intervals between the pCMV-Luc plasmid injection and electroporation. Expression of luciferase was determined by measurement of its activity using luminometer. The results demonstrated that pCMV-Luc plasmid has to be injected before the application of electric pulses, since no measurable expression was detected in the tumors when pCMV-Luc plasmid was injected after electroporation of tumors. In both tumor models the highest transfection efficiency was obtained when pCMV-Luc plasmid was injected not less than 5 minutes but also not more than 30 minutes before the application of electric pulses. The results also demonstrated variability in the transfection efficiency depending on the tumor model. High expression was obtained in B16F1 tumor model (∼5500 pg luc/mg tumor) and lower in LPB fibrosarcoma (∼200 pg luc/mg tumor). In conclusion, our results demonstrate that regardless of the susceptibility of the tumors to electrically-assisted gene delivery, the best timing for pCMV-Luc plasmid is between 30 to 5 minutes prior to the application of electric pulses to the tumors.
Keywords: Electroporation, delivery system, tumors, mice, luciferase
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