Airway deposition of nebulized gene delivery nanocomplexes monitored by radioimaging agents

M.D.I. Manunta, R.J. Mcanulty, A. Mcdowell, J. Jin, D.A. Ridout, J.S. Fleming, S.E.W. Bottoms, L. Tossici-Bolt, Geoff Laurent, L. Biassoni, C.L. O'Callaghan, S.L. Hart

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Receptor-targeted nanocomplexes are nonviral vectors developed for gene delivery to the airway epithelium for the treatment of pulmonary disease associated with cystic fibrosis. The present study aimed to optimize the delivery of the nanocomplex by nebulization, and to monitor the in vivo deposition of radiolabeled vector in the airways of a large animal model by γ-camera scintigraphy. Large White weaner pigs were nebulized with nanocomplexes mixed with technetium-99m radiopharmaceuticals. The aerosol deposition scans suggested that the nebulized radiovectors were deposited mainly in the trachea-main bronchi and in the midregion of the lungs. The plasmid biodistribution, assessed by real-time PCR, correlated with the scintigraphy images. The highest plasmid copy numbers were found in the bronchial areas and in the tissues proximal to the main bronchi bifurcation. Immunohistochemistry detected transgene expression in the tracheal and bronchial ciliated epithelium. Histological analysis of lung tissue showed no evidence of inflammation, and no increase in inflammatory cytokines or inflammatory cells was detected in the bronchoalveolar lavage. The deposition of nebulized nanocomplexes coassociated with technetium-99m can be monitored by nuclear medicine techniques. The use of a noninvasive strategy to follow the delivery of the vector could improve the clinical management of patients undergoing cystic fibrosis gene therapy. Copyright © 2013 by the American Thoracic Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)471-480
    JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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