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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Review Article

Nucleic Acid Delivery System by the Combination of Lipid bubbles and Ultrasound

Author(s): Yoko Endo-Takahashi, Kazuo Maruyama and Yoichi Negishi*

Volume 24 , Issue 23 , 2018

Page: [2673 - 2677] Pages: 5

DOI: 10.2174/1381612824666180807122759

Price: $65


Background: RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapy has gained attention because of its potent genesilencing effect and high specificity. However, the efficient delivery of nucleic acids to the target site is a major challenge to the clinical implementation. Recently, ultrasound-mediated gene delivery systems have been developed and attracted interest due to its safety and site-specificity. By the combination with contrast agents, called microbubbles, not only the delivery effects but also the imaging effects are significantly enhanced. We developed lipid bubbles (LBs) entrapping an ultrasound contrast gas to enhance the efficacy of ultrasound-mediated delivery and imaging. In this review, we summarize ultrasound-mediated nucleic acid delivery systems and discuss the possibility of combining LBs and ultrasound for RNAi-based therapies.

Methods: We prepared polyethylene glycol-modified liposomes and entrapped an echo-contrast gas within the liposomes. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) were transfected into cells and muscles using LBs and ultrasound. Moreover, we also developed nucleic acid-loaded LBs using cholesterol-conjugated siRNA or positively-charged lipid for an efficient systemic delivery of siRNA and microRNA. The usability of LBs for RNA delivery system was evaluated by the silencing effects of target genes and the therapeutic effects on ischemia hind limb.

Results: A combination of LBs and therapeutic ultrasound was able to enhance the gene silencing effects by siRNA. Nucleic acid-loaded LBs were able to efficiently deliver siRNA or microRNA by systemic administration. A combination of LBs and diagnostic ultrasound also enhanced the imaging efficiency. Using a hindlimb ischemia mouse model, microRNA-loaded LBs could lead to increased angiogenic factors and improved blood flow.

Conclusion: Ultrasound technology is widely used in clinical settings not only for diagnosis but also for therapy. Ultrasonic devices are being actively developed. Computer-controlled ultrasound systems can provide precise exposure to the target site. The combination of precise ultrasound exposure and LBs might be useful for target site-specific nucleic acids delivery, and holds potential to be developed into a beneficial therapeutic and diagnostic system for various diseases.

Keywords: siRNA, miRNA, ultrasound, liposomes, nucleic acids, lipid bubbles (LBs).

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