Arthritis is an auto immune disorder characterized by pain, swelling and stiffness. Its prevalence depends upon age. It occurs more frequently in women than in men. It is an inflammation of synovial joint due to immuno mediated response. All anti inflammatory drugs are not anti arthritic because it does not suppress T-cell and B-cell mediated response. Epidemiological studies overall show a female to male ratio of about 3:1. There are many class of anti-arthritic drugs are available like NSAIDS, Monoclonal anti-bodies, uricosuric agents, gold compounds, anti-cytokinine immunosuppressant like glucocorticoids, etc. But this all class of drugs is responsible for symptomatic relief. To evaluate the drug which actually prevent cause of arthritic or act during various step of arthritis there is requirement of evaluative model which produce arthritis in (vial same that produce in humans. Animal models of arthritis are used to study pathogenesis of disease and to evaluate potential anti-arthritic drugs for clinical use. Therefore morphological similarities to human disease and capacity of the model to predict efficacy in humans are important criteria in model selection.
Monoclonal anti-bodies; uricosuric agents; gold compounds; anti-cytokinine immunosuppressant
Nature has provided the developing immune system with several checkpoints important for the maintenance of tolerance and the prevention of autoimmunity. The regulatory mechanisms operating in the periphery of the system are mediated by subsets of regulatory cells, now considered principal contributors to peripheral tolerance. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have received titanic interest in the past decade, placing them at the centre of immuno-suppressive reactions. However, it has become clearer that other immune suppressive cells inhibit auto-reactivity as effectively as Tregs. The function of Tregs and other regulatory cells in rheumatoid arthritis will be discussed in this review.
Considerable interest has been focused on inducing RNA interference (RNAi) in neurons to study gene function and identify new targets for disease intervention. Although small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have been used to silence genes in neurons, in vivo delivery of RNAi remains a major challenge limiting its applications. We have developed a highly efficient method for in vivo gene silencing in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) using replication-defective herpes simplex viral (HSV-1) vectors. HSV-mediated delivery of short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting reporter genes resulted in highly effective and specific silencing in neuronal and non-neuronal cells in culture and in the DRG of mice in vivo including in a transgenic mouse model. We further establish proof of concept by demonstrating in vivo silencing of the endogenous trpv1 gene. These data are the first to show silencing in DRG neurons in vivo by vector-mediated delivery of shRNA. Our results support the utility of HSV vectors for gene silencing in peripheral neurons and the potential application of this technology to the study of nociceptive processes and in pain gene target validation studies.
Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) is a rare, systemic inflammatory disease classified as a subtype of JIA. Besides arthritis, it is characterised by systemic features like spiking fever, skin rash, hepatosplenomegaly or serositis. It is becoming clear now that abnormalities in the innate immunity (cytokines like IL-1, IL-6 and IL-18, and neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages rather than lymphocytes) play a major role in the pathogenesis of sJIA, distinguishing sJIA from other JIA-subtypes. Another distinctive feature of sJIA is its strong association with macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). Based on this, consensus is emerging that sJIA should be viewed as an auto-inflammatory syndrome rather than a ‘classic’ autoimmune disease.
As a consequence of the progression in understanding the underlying mechanisms of sJIA, major changes in the management are evolving. Sofar, treatment has been based on glucocorticosteroids in combination with disease modifying drugs like methotrexate. Recently, remarkable improvement has been observed with IL-1 and IL-6 targeted therapies. These therapies might also change the long term outcome of this disease. However, controlled trials set up in international collaboration are needed to determine the optimal treatment strategies for all sJIA patients.
systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis; innate immunity; myeloid related proteins (MRP´s); IL-1; IL-6; Macrophage Activation Syndrome (MAS)
Rheumatoid arthritis is a multisystemic auto-inflammatory disease affecting up to 1% of the population and leading to the destruction of the joints. Evidence exists for the involvement of the innate as well as the adaptive immune systems in the pathology of the disease. The success of anti-tumour necrosis factor-α indicates the importance of pro-inflammatory mediators produced by innate immune cells in rheumatoid arthritis progression. Therefore, considerable efforts have been made in elucidating the signalling pathways leading to the expression of those mediators. This review will concentrate on the role of signalling pathways in innate immune cells in the context of rheumatoid arthritis.
Psoriasis is a chronic, genetically determined, immune-mediated, inflammatory skin disease affecting approximately 2% to 3% of Caucasian population. Given the well-established role of the immuno-mediated inflammation in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, in the past few years several key steps in the pathogenesis of this disease have been elucidated and the increased knowledge led to the development of specific drugs, commonly defined as “biologics” targeting one or more of these steps. At present an anti-CD11a antibody (efalizumab), an anti-LFA3/CD2 receptor (alefacept) and 3 antitumor necrosis factor alpha agents (adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab) are now commercially available for the treatment of both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Recent studies have demonstrated that interleukins (IL) 12 and 23 play an important role in the pathophysiology of psoriasis. In fact members of the IL-12 family of cytokines have the potential to act as the next major cytokine(s) in pathogenesis and the treatment of psoriasis. Ustekinumab (CNTO 1275, Centocor Inc, Malvern, PA, USA) is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to the shared p40 protein subunit of human interleukins 12 and 23 with high affinity and specificity, thereby preventing interaction with their surface IL-12Rβ1 receptor. Different clinical studies have been conducted to date. In particular a phase II study and two phase III studies, PHOENIX 1 together with PHOENIX 2, show very encouraging results. This review reports on the latest progress made in the clinical use of biologic drugs for psoriasis focusing on the new human IL-12/23 monoclonal antibody, ustekinumab, for psoriasis.
psoriasis; ustekinumab; interleukin-12/23 monoclonal antibody
Leukocytes are central regulators of inflammation and the target cells of therapies for key diseases, including autoimmune, cardiovascular, and malignant disorders. Efficient in vivo delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) to immune cells could thus enable novel treatment strategies with broad applicability. In this report, we develop systemic delivery methods of siRNA encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNP) for durable and potent in vivo RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing in myeloid cells. This work provides the first demonstration of siRNA-mediated silencing in myeloid cell types of nonhuman primates (NHPs) and establishes the feasibility of targeting multiple gene targets in rodent myeloid cells. The therapeutic potential of these formulations was demonstrated using siRNA targeting tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) which induced substantial attenuation of disease progression comparable to a potent antibody treatment in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In summary, we demonstrate a broadly applicable and therapeutically relevant platform for silencing disease genes in immune cells.
delivery; immune cell; siRNA
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease characterized by persistent inflammation of joints resulting in progressive destruction of cartilage and bone. Recently, biological agents that suppress the activities of proinflammatory cytokines have shown efficacy as antirheumatic drugs, but require frequent administration, and often result in systemic immune suppression. Thus, gene transfer approaches are being developed as an alternative approach for targeted, more efficient, and sustained delivery of inhibitors of inflammatory cytokines as well as other therapeutic agents. Several gene therapy approaches have been established in preclinical animal models. In these models, autoantigen-specific T cells have been demonstrated to be ideal gene delivery vehicles for the local delivery of “immunoregulatory molecules” because these cells have tissue-specific homing and retention properties. Indeed, bioluminescence studies in an animal model of inflammatory arthritis revealed that these cells accumulated in and remained in inflamed joints. Transfer of genetically modified dendritic cells (DCs) may also have interesting effects. We conclude that modifying antigen-specific T cells or autologous DCs by retroviral transduction for local expression of regulatory proteins is a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of RA.
Antigen-specific T cell; Cell trafficking; Dendritic cell (DC); Local delivery; Regulatory T cell
T cells have an important role during the development of autoimmune diseases. In adjuvant arthritis, a model for rheumatoid arthritis, we found that the percentage of CD4+ T cells expressing the activation marker CD134 (OX40 antigen) was elevated before disease onset. Moreover, these CD134+ T cells showed a specific proliferative response to the disease-associated epitope of mycobacterial heat shock protein 60, indicating that this subset contains auto-aggressive T cells. We studied the usefulness of CD134 as a molecular target for immune intervention in arthritis by using liposomes coated with a CD134-directed monoclonal antibody as a drug targeting system. Injection of anti-CD134 liposomes subcutaneously in the hind paws of pre-arthritic rats resulted in targeting of the majority of CD4+CD134+ T cells in the popliteal lymph nodes. Furthermore, we showed that anti-CD134 liposomes bound to activated T cells were not internalized. However, drug delivery by these liposomes could be established by loading anti-CD134 liposomes with the dipalmitate-derivatized cytostatic agent 5'-fluorodeoxyuridine. These liposomes specifically inhibited the proliferation of activated CD134+ T cells in vitro, and treatment with anti-CD134 liposomes containing 5'-fluorodeoxyuridine resulted in the amelioration of adjuvant arthritis. Thus, CD134 can be used as a marker for auto-aggressive CD4+ T cells early in arthritis, and specific liposomal targeting of drugs to these cells via CD134 can be employed to downregulate disease development.
Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) plays an important role in the regulation of a variety of immune cells, including monocytes. We have previously shown that KLF2 inhibits proinflammatory activation of monocytes. However, the role of KLF2 in arthritis is yet to be investigated. In the current study, we show that recruitment of significantly greater numbers of inflammatory subset of CD11b+F4/80+Ly6C+ monocytes to the inflammatory sites in KLF2 hemizygous mice compared to the wild type littermate controls. In parallel, inflammatory mediators, MCP-1, Cox-2 and PAI-1 were significantly up-regulated in bone marrow-derived monocytes isolated from KLF2 hemizygous mice, in comparison to wild-type controls. Methylated-BSA and IL-1β-induced arthritis was more severe in KLF2 hemizygous mice as compared to the littermate wild type controls. Consistent with this observation, monocytes isolated from KLF2 hemizygous mice showed an increased number of cells matured and differentiated towards osteoclastic lineage, potentially contributing to the severity of cartilage and bone damage in induced arthritic mice. The severity of arthritis was associated with the higher expression of proteins such as HSP60, HSP90 and MMP13 and attenuated levels of pPTEN, p21, p38 and HSP25/27 molecules in bone marrow cells of arthritic KLF2 hemizygous mice compared to littermate wild type controls. The data provide new insights and evidences of KLF2-mediated transcriptional regulation of arthritis via modulation of monocyte differentiation and function.
Arthritis; KLF2; inflammation; monocytes; osteoclasts
Macrophages are principal drivers of synovial inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a prototype immune-mediated inflammatory disease. Conceivably, synovial macrophages are continuously replaced by circulating monocytes in RA. Animal studies from the 1960s suggested that macrophage replacement by monocytes is a slow process in chronic inflammatory lesions. Translation of these data into the human condition has been hampered by the lack of available techniques to analyze monocyte migration in man.
We developed a technique that enabled us to analyze the migration of labelled autologous monocytes in RA patients using single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT). We isolated CD14+ monocytes by CliniMACS in 8 patients and labeled these with technetium-99m (99mTc-HMPAO). Monocytes were re-infused into the same patient. Using SPECT we calculated that a very small but specific fraction of 3.4×10−3 (0.95−5.1×10−3) % of re-infused monocytes migrated to the inflamed joints, being detectable within one hour after re-infusion.
The results indicate monocytes migrate continuously into the inflamed synovial tissue of RA patients, but at a slow macrophage-replacement rate. This suggests that the rapid decrease in synovial macrophages that occurs after antirheumatic treatment might rather be explained by an alteration in macrophage retention than in monocyte influx and that RA might be particularly sensitive to treatments targeting inflammatory cell retention.
RNA interference (RNAi) represents a high effective mechanism for specific inhibition of mRNA expression. Besides its potential as a powerful laboratory tool, the RNAi pathway appears to be promising for therapeutic utilization. For development of RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapies, delivery of RNAi-mediating agents to target cells is one of the major obstacles. A novel strategy to overcome this hurdle is transkingdom RNAi (tkRNAi). This technology uses non-pathogenic bacteria, e.g. Escherichia coli, to produce and deliver therapeutic short hairpin RNA (shRNA) into target cells to induce RNAi. A first-generation tkRNAi-mediating vector, TRIP, contains the bacteriophage T7 promoter for expression regulation of a therapeutic shRNA of interest. Furthermore, TRIP has the Inv locus from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis that encodes invasin, which permits natural noninvasive bacteria to enter β1-integrin-positive mammalian cells and the HlyA gene from Listeria monocytogenes, which produces listeriolysin O. This enzyme allows the therapeutic shRNA to escape from entry vesicles within the cytoplasm of the target cell. TRIP constructs are introduced into a competent non-pathogenic Escherichia coli strain, which encodes T7 RNA polymerase necessary for the T7 promoter-driven synthesis of shRNAs. A well-characterized cancer-associated target molecule for different RNAi strategies is ABCB1 (MDR1/P-glycoprotein, MDR1/P-gp). This ABC-transporter acts as a drug extrusion pump and mediates the "classical" ABCB1-mediated multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype of human cancer cells which is characterized by a specific cross resistance pattern. Different ABCB1-expressing MDR cancer cells were treated with anti-ABCB1 shRNA expression vector bearing E. coli. This procedure resulted in activation of the RNAi pathways within the cancer cells and a considerable down regulation of the ABCB1 encoding mRNA as well as the corresponding drug extrusion pump. Accordingly, drug accumulation was enhanced in the pristine drug-resistant cancer cells and the MDR phenotype was reversed. By means of this model the data provide the proof-of-concept that tkRNAi is suitable for modulation of cancer-associated factors, e.g. ABCB1, in human cancer cells.
Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 3 is a malaria vaccine candidate that was identified, characterised, and developed based on a unique immuno-clinical approach. The vaccine construct was derived from regions fully conserved among various strains and containing B cell epitopes targeted by human antibodies (from malaria-immune adults) that are able to mediate a monocyte-dependent parasite killing effect. The corresponding long synthetic peptide was administered to 36 volunteers, with either alum or Montanide ISA720 as adjuvant.
Methods and Findings
Both formulations induced cellular and humoral immune responses. With alum, the responses lasted up to 12 mo. The vaccine-induced antibodies were predominantly of cytophilic classes, i.e., able to cooperate with effector cells. In vitro, the antibodies induced an inhibition of the P. falciparum erythrocytic growth in a monocyte-dependent manner, which was in most instances as high as or greater than that induced by natural antibodies from immune African adults. In vivo transfer of the volunteers' sera into P. falciparum–infected humanized SCID mice profoundly reduced or abrogated parasitaemia. These inhibitory effects were related to the antibody reactivity with the parasite native protein, which was seen in 60% of the volunteers, and remained in samples taken 12 mo postimmunisation.
This is the first malaria vaccine clinical trial to clearly demonstrate antiparasitic activity by vaccine-induced antibodies by both in vitro and in vivo methods. The results, showing the induction of long-lasting antibodies directed to a fully conserved polypeptide, also challenge current concepts about malaria vaccines, such as unavoidable polymorphism, low antigenicity, and poor induction of immune memory.
Functional assays suggest that MSP3-based vaccine elicits strong immune response in human volunteers.
RNA interference (RNAi), a gene-silencing phenomenon whereby double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) triggers the sequence-specific degradation of homologous mRNA. RNAi has been quickly and widely applied to discover gene functions and holds great potential to provide a new class of therapeutic agents. However, new chemistry and delivery approaches are greatly needed to silence disease-causing genes without toxic effects. We reasoned that conjugation of the cholesterol moiety to cationic lipids would enhance RNAi efficiencies and lower the toxic effects of lipid-mediated RNAi delivery. Here, we report the first design and synthesis of new cholesterol-conjugated cationic lipids for RNAi delivery using microwave-assisted quaternization (MAQ) of tertiary amines. This strategy can be employed to develop new classes of non-viral gene delivery agents under safe and fast reaction conditions.
RNAi; cholesterol-conjugated lipids; siRNA delivery; chemically modified siRNA; therapeutic silencing
There is evidence that reactive oxygen species play a causal role in auto-immune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Despite the supporting evidence for a beneficial effect of antioxidants on clinical characteristics of RA, the right balance for optimal effectiveness of antioxidants is largely unknown. To determine the potential beneficial effects of an antioxidant intervention on clinical parameters for RA, an open pilot study was designed. Eight non-smoking female patients with rheumatoid factor + RA and a Disease Activity Score (DAS 28) higher than 2.5 were enrolled in the study. Patients had to be receiving stable non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug treatment and/or ‘second line’ medication for at least 3 months. The pilot group consumed 20 g of antioxidant-enriched spread daily during a period of 10 weeks. The intervention was stopped after 10 weeks and was followed by a ‘wash-out’ period of 4 weeks. At t = 0, t = 10 weeks and t = 14 weeks, patients’ condition was assessed by means of DAS. In addition, standard laboratory analyses were performed, and blood-samples for antioxidants were taken. The antioxidant-enriched spread was well tolerated. All laboratory measures of inflammatory activity and oxidative modification were generally unchanged. However, the number of swollen and painful joints were significantly decreased and general health significantly increased, as reflected by a significantly improved (1.6) DAS at t = 10 weeks. The antioxidant effect was considered beneficial as, compared to the scores at t = 0, the DAS significantly reduced at t = 10 weeks. Increase of the DAS (0.7) after the “wash-out period” at t = 14 confirmed a causal relation between changes in clinical condition and antioxidants. This open pilot study aimed to assess the clinical relevance of an antioxidant intervention as a first step in assessing potential beneficial effects of antioxidants on rheumatoid arthritis. These conclusions need to be validated in a larger controlled study population.
Antioxidants; Clinical parameters; Intervention; Rheumatoid arthritis
Inflammatory monocytes -- but not the non-inflammatory subset -- depend on the chemokine receptor CCR2 for distribution to injured tissue and stimulate disease progression. Precise therapeutic targeting of this inflammatory monocyte subset could spare innate immunity's essential functions for maintenance of homeostasis and thus limit unwanted effects. Here we developed siRNA nanoparticles targeting CCR2 expression in inflammatory monocytes. We identified an optimized lipid nanoparticle and silencing siRNA sequence that when administered systemically, had rapid blood clearance, accumulated in spleen and bone marrow and showed high cellular localization of fluorescently tagged siRNA inside monocytes. Efficient degradation of CCR2 mRNA in monocytes prevented their accumulation in sites of inflammation. Specifically, the treatment attenuated their number in atherosclerotic plaques, reduced infarct size following coronary artery occlusion, prolonged normoglycemia in diabetic mice after pancreatic islet transplantation and resulted in reduced tumor volumes and lower numbers of tumor-associated macrophages. Taken together, siRNA nanoparticle-mediated CCR2 gene silencing in leukocytes selectively modulates functions of innate immune cell subtypes and may allow for the development of specific anti-inflammatory therapy.
Drug targeting to sites of tissue injury, tumor or infection with limited toxicity is the goal for successful pharmaceutics. Immunocytes (including mononuclear phagocytes (dendritic cells, monocytes and macrophages), neutrophils, and lymphocytes) are highly mobile; they can migrate across impermeable barriers and release their drug cargo at sites of infection or tissue injury. Thus immune cells can be exploited as trojan horses for drug delivery.
AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW
This paper reviews how immunocytes laden with drugs can cross the blood brain or blood tumor barriers, to facilitate treatments for infectious diseases, injury, cancer, or inflammatory diseases. The promises and perils of cell-mediated drug delivery are reviewed, with examples of how immunocytes can be harnessed to improve therapeutic end points.
Using cells as delivery vehicles enables targeted drug transport, and prolonged circulation times, along with reductions in cell and tissue toxicities. Such systems for drug carriage and targeted release represent a novel disease combating strategy being applied to a spectrum of human disorders. The design of nanocarriers for cell-mediated drug delivery may differ from those used for conventional drug delivery systems; nevertheless, engaging different defense mechanisms into drug delivery may open new perspectives for the active delivery of drugs.
cell-carriers; drug delivery; immunocytes; nanoparticles; targeted drug transport
Islet transplantation has the potential to cure type 1 diabetes. Despite recent therapeutic success, it is still not common because a large number of transpanted islets get damaged by multiple challenges including instant blood mediated inflammatory reaction, hypoxia/reperfusion injury, inflammatory cytokines, and immune rejection. RNA interference (RNAi) is an novel strategy to selectively degrade target mRNA. The use of RNAi technologies to downregulate the expression of harmful genes has the potential to improve the outcome of islet transplantation. The aim of this review is to gain a thorough understanding of biological obstacles to islet transplantation and discuss how to overcome these barriers using different RNAi technologies. This eventually will help improve islet survival and function post transplantaion. Chemically synthesized small interferring RNA (siRNA), vector based short haripin RNA (shRNA), and their critical design elements (such as sequences, promoters, backbone) are discussed. The application of combinatorial RNAi in islet transplantation is also discussed. Last but not the least, several delivery strategies for enhanced gene silencing are discussed, including chemical modification of siRNA, complex formation, bioconjugation, and viral vectors.
RNA interference; Islet transplantation; siRNA; shRNA
Conventional and biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs have revolutionized the medical therapy of inflammatory arthritis. However, it remains unclear as to what can be done to treat immune-mediated chronic inflammation after patients become refractory to these therapies or develop serious side-effects and/or infections forcing drug withdrawal. Because of these concerns it is imperative that novel targets be continuously identified and experimental strategies designed to test potential arthritis interventions in vitro, but more importantly, in well-validated animal models of inflammatory arthritis. Over the past few years, sphingosine-1-phosphate, interleukin-7 receptor, spleen tyrosine kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase 5/p38 kinase regulated/activated protein kinase, micro-RNAs, tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand and the polyubiquitin-proteasome pathway were identified as promising novel targets for potential antiarthritis drug development. Indeed several experimental compounds alter the biological activity of these targets and have shown clinical efficacy in animal models of arthritis. A few of them have even entered the first phase of human clinical trials.
Hydrogels are an important class of biomaterials for cell encapsulation and delivery, providing a physical barrier or “immuno-isolation” between the host tissue and encapsulated cells. The semipermeable gel protects the encapsulated cells from host immune cells and/or antibody recognition while allowing facile diffusion of nutrients. However, a previously un-addressed problem is that highly permissive hydrogels cannot exclude the infiltration of soluble immune-mediators, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines that are highly expressed in wounded environments in vivo. When encountered with pro-inflammatory cytokines, encapsulated cells fail to perform their desired functions. Here, we report the synthesis, characterization, and application of peptide-functionalized, cytokine-antagonizing poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels capable of sequestering the pro-inflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). Results demonstrate that the survival, function, and differentiation of encapsulated cells (e.g., rat adrenal pheochromocytoma cells – PC12s, mouse pancreatic islets, and human mesenchymal stem cells or hMSCs) are significantly hindered in un-modified PEG hydrogels under in vitro TNFα treatments. In contrast, cells encapsulated in TNFα-antagonizing hydrogels are un-affected by the infiltrated TNFα. This study demonstrates the importance of controlling the availability of pro-inflammatory cytokines in highly permissive hydrogels.
Hydrogels; inflammation; cytokine; apoptosis; mesenchymal stem cells; TNFα; tissue engineering
RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful method for specific gene
silencing which may also lead to promising novel therapeutic
strategies. It is mediated through small interfering RNAs (siRNAs)
which sequence-specifically trigger the cleavage and subsequent
degradation of their target mRNA. One critical factor is the
ability to deliver intact siRNAs into target cells/organs in vivo.
This review highlights the mechanism of RNAi and the guidelines
for the design of optimal siRNAs. It gives an overview of studies
based on the systemic or local application of naked siRNAs or the
use of various nonviral siRNA delivery systems. One promising
avenue is the the complexation of siRNAs with the polyethylenimine
(PEI), which efficiently stabilizes siRNAs and, upon systemic
administration, leads to the delivery of the intact siRNAs into
different organs. The antitumorigenic effects of
PEI/siRNA-mediated in vivo gene-targeting of tumor-relevant
proteins like in mouse tumor xenograft models are described.
RNAi efficiency is influenced by local RNA structure of the target sequence. We studied this structure-based resistance in detail by targeting a perfect RNA hairpin and subsequently destabilized its tight structure by mutation, thereby gradually exposing the target sequence. Although the tightest RNA hairpins were completely resistant to RNAi, we observed an inverse correlation between the overall target hairpin stability and RNAi efficiency within a specific thermodynamic stability (ΔG) range. Increased RNAi efficiency was shown to be caused by improved binding of the siRNA to the destabilized target RNA hairpins. The mutational effects vary for different target regions. We find an accessible target 3′ end to be most important for RNAi-mediated inhibition. However, these 3′ end effects cannot be reproduced in siRNA-target RNA-binding studies in vitro, indicating the important role of RISC components in the in vivo RNAi reaction. The results provide a more detailed insight into the impact of target RNA structure on RNAi and we discuss several possible implications. With respect to lentiviral-mediated delivery of shRNA expression cassettes, we present a ΔG window to destabilize the shRNA insert for vector improvement, while avoiding RNAi-mediated self-targeting during lentiviral vector production.
Targeted gene silencing by RNA interference allows the study of gene function in plants and animals. In cell culture and small animal models, genetic screens can be performed—even tissue-specifically in Drosophila—with genome-wide RNAi libraries. However, a major problem with the use of RNAi approaches is the unavoidable false-positive error caused by off-target effects. Until now, this is minimized by computational RNAi design, comparing RNAi to the mutant phenotype if known, and rescue with a presumed ortholog. The ultimate proof of specificity would be to restore expression of the same gene product in vivo. Here, we present a simple and efficient method to rescue the RNAi-mediated knockdown of two independent genes in Drosophila. By exploiting the degenerate genetic code, we generated Drosophila
RNAi Escape Strategy Construct (RESC) rescue proteins containing frequent silent mismatches in the complete RNAi target sequence. RESC products were no longer efficiently silenced by RNAi in cell culture and in vivo. As a proof of principle, we rescue the RNAi-induced loss of function phenotype of the eye color gene white and tracheal defects caused by the knockdown of the heparan sulfate proteoglycan syndecan. Our data suggest that RESC is widely applicable to rescue and validate ubiquitous or tissue-specific RNAi and to perform protein structure–function analysis.
T cells play a central role in many inflammatory diseases, hence the identification and validation of T cell-specific target genes will increase the understanding of T cell function in pathologic inflammatory situations. RNA interference (RNAi), with its ability to induce specific gene silencing in mammalian cells, represents a powerful technology to investigate and validate the function of pharmaceutical target genes in vitro and in vivo. The aim of the present study was to systematically explore RNAi-mediated gene-silencing of known T cell-specific model signaling molecules in primary murine T cells in vitro and in vivo.
We demonstrate that siRNA delivery and subsequent silencing of T cell specific genes is substantially increased, if murine T cells were activated prior siRNA transfection. Silencing of ZAP70, p56Lck as well as PLC-γ1 protein expression resulted in impaired function of T cells in vitro. Furthermore, delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) was ameliorated in vivo after adoptive transfer of ZAP70-silenced T cells.
The combination of RNAi-mediated gene silencing and adoptive transfer of gene-silenced T cells, thus, may allow the identification and analysis of T cell-specific targets for therapeutic intervention. Additionally, this model system may represent an alternative to conventional time consuming and cost intensive gene targeting approaches.
Despite strong efforts to improve clinical outcome of ovarian cancer patients by conventional and targeted immuno-based therapies, the prognosis of advanced ovarian cancer is still poor. Natural killer (NK) cells mediate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), release immunostimulatory cytokines and thus function as potent anti-tumour effector cells. However, tumour cells developed mechanisms to escape from an effective immune response. So highly immunogenic substances, like the 38 kDa-preparation of M. tuberculosis, PstS-1, are explored for their potential to enhance cancer-targeted immune responses. In this study we examined the modulation of different NK cell functions by accessory monocytes and PstS-1. We focussed on NK cell activation as well as natural and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity directed against epidermal-growth-factor-receptor (EGFR)-positive ovarian cancer cell lines.
Activation, cytokine release and cytotoxicity of NK cells stimulated by monocytes and PstS-1 were determined by FACS-analysis, ELISA, Bioplex assay and quantitative polymerase-chain reaction (qPCR). Transwell assays were used to discriminate cell-cell contact-dependent from contact-independent mechanisms. Five ovarian cancer cell lines (A2780, IGROV-1, OVCAR-3, OVCAR-4 and SKOV-3) with different EGFR-expression were used as target cells for natural and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity assays. Cetuximab (anti-EGFR-antibody) was used for ADCC studies.
Our data show that monocytes effectively enhance activation as well natural and antibody-dependent cytolytic activity of NK cells. PstS-1 directly stimulated monocytes and further activated monocyte-NK-co-cultures. However, PstS-1 did not directly influence purified NK cells and did also not affect natural and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity directed against EGFR-positive ovarian cancer cells, even in presence of monocytes. Direct cell-cell contact between NK cells and monocytes was required for NK activation, while released cytokines seemed to play a minor role.
Our data suggest that monocytes enhance natural and antibody-dependent cytotoxic activity of NK cells in a cell-cell contact dependent manner. The TLR-agonist PstS-1 provides additional monocyte activation and induces NK activation markers, while NK cytotoxicity remains unaffected. We conclude that monocytes provide accessory function for ADCC exerted by NK during antibody-based cancer immunotherapy directed against EGFR-positive ovarian cancer cells.
NK cell; PstS-1; Ovarian cancer; BCG; Immunotherapy; Cetuximab