Relaxin treatment of solid tumors: effects on electric field-mediated gene delivery.
Pulsed electric fields have been shown to enhance interstitial transport of plasmid DNA (pDNA) in solid tumors in vivo. However, the extent of enhancement is still limited partly due to the collagen component in extracellular matrix. To this end, effects of collagen remodeling on interstitial electrophoresis were investigated by pretreatment of tumor-bearing mice with a recombinant human relaxin (rh-Rlx). In the study, two tumor lines (4T1 and B16.F10) were examined and implanted s.c. to establish two murine models: dorsal skin-fold chamber (DSC) and hind leg. Effects of rh-Rlx on pDNA electrophoresis were measured either directly in the DSC model or indirectly in the hind leg model via reporter gene expression. It was observed that rh-Rlx treatment reduced collagen levels in the hind leg tumors but not in the DSC tumors. The observation correlated with the results from electromobility experiments, where rh-Rlx treatment enhanced transgene expression in 4T1 hind leg tumors but did not increase the electromobility of pDNA in the DSC tumors. In addition, it was observed that pDNA binding to collagen could block its diffusion in collagen gel in vitro. These observations showed that effects of rh-Rlx on the collagen content depended on microenvironment in solid tumors and that rh-Rlx treatment would enhance electric field-mediated gene delivery only if it could effectively reduce the collagen content in collagen-rich tumors.
Henshaw, J; Mossop, B; Yuan, F
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